Wednesday July 17, 2019
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Bangladesh Killings: Hindu Priest Hacked to Death at a Temple in Broad Daylight

Bangladesh has witnessed a spike in suspected Islamist attacks in the last two years

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Bangladeshi citizen protesting against ISIS Image Source: todayonline.com
  • Although Islamic State has taken responsibility for some recent killings in the past, officials have continuously denied the presence of the group
  • A similar incident took place, in which a 70-year-old Hindu priest was killed
  • Police have not been successful at making any arrests yet

Unidentified assailants have shot to death another Hindu priest today at a temple in Bangladesh, confirmed police and senior administration.

Shaymanonda Das, 45, was brutally killed in front of a temple in Jhenaidah district headquarters, located 300 km south-west from the country’s capital Dhaka.

Mahbubur Rahman, the chief of Jhenaidah district administration said, “He was preparing morning prayers with flowers at the temple early in the morning and that time three young people came by a motorbike and killed him with machetes and fled away.”

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Talking about the further investigation to Reuters, he added, “The nature of killing was similar with the local militants, but we cannot say more at the moment,” quoted India Today.

Relative console Shefali Ganguly, wife of Anando Gopal Ganguly, Image Source: bbc.com

Although Islamic State has taken responsibility for some recent killings in the past, officials have continuously denied the presence of the group, alleging that home-grown groups are behind the recent killings.

While the motive behind the shooting is still not known, the police have been unsuccessful in making any arrest so far.

Earlier, on June 7 a similar incident took place, in which a 70-year-old Hindu priest was killed, when he was riding a bicycle to Naldanga Bazar to perform puja, reported The Hindu.

Ananda Gopal Ganguly was attacked by three men who came on a motorcycle carrying sharp arms.

Later, his body was found in a rice field by some farmers near his village. The Islamic terror group then took responsibility for the attack.

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Apparently, Bangladesh has witnessed a spike in suspected Islamist attacks in the last two years. Its victims have primarily been bloggers, online activists, secular intellectuals, and members of religious minorities.

Previously, Amnesty International has also demanded a thorough and impartial investigation into these gory incidents and proclaimed that the government should “protect those still under threat.”

The group added, “In the current climate of impunity, increasing numbers of people have reported facing threats that the authorities have repeatedly failed to address.”

ALSO READ:

  • AJ Krish

    What is the Bangladesh government doing?Aren’t they supposed to provide an answer as to who killed the priest? How long are they going to deny the presence of IS in their country?

Next Story

Devastating Islamic State Terror Group Set Conditions for Comeback

ISIS’s Second Comeback: Assessing the Next ISIS Insurgency, by the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW)

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Islamic State, Terror, Comeback
FILE - Islamic State members walk in the last besieged neighborhood in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria, March 10, 2019. VOA

The Islamic State terror group has set conditions for a comeback that “could be faster and even more devastating” than when it first burst onto the world stage, according to a new report out Wednesday.

ISIS’s Second Comeback: Assessing the Next ISIS Insurgency, by the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW), also warns the terror group, often referred to as IS or ISIS, is likely to reclaim territory both in Syria and in Iraq, where it is already seizing control.

“ISIS has systematically eliminated village leaders and civilians who cooperated with anti-ISIS forces,” the report says. “It has re-imposed taxes on local populations in its historical support zones, displacing civilians and de facto controlling small pockets of terrain in Iraq.”

In Syria, IS faces a more daunting task, where it is still battling the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al Assad, and Hay’at Tharir al-Sham, al Qaida’s Syrian affiliate.

Islamic State, Terror, Comeback
FILE — A member of U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) watches over people who were evacuated out of the last territory held by Islamic State militants, outside Baghouz, Syria, March 5, 2019. VOA

Still, the report’s authors believe IS is well-prepared for the fight, having taken advantage of the slow and methodical U.S.-backed campaign to roll back the terror group’s self-declared caliphate.

“ISIS deliberately withdrew and relocated many of its fighters and their families,” the reports states.

“ISIS’s forces are now dispersed across both countries and are waging a capable insurgency,” it says. “ISIS retained a global finance network that funded its transition back to an insurgency and managed to preserve sufficient weapons and other supplies in tunnel systems and other support zones in order to equip its regenerated insurgent force.”

The concerns about a possible IS resurgence are not new.

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As far back as August 2018, U.S. defense officials were warning IS was “well-positioned to rebuild and work on enabling its physical caliphate to re-emerge.”

More recently, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Stabilization Denise Natali warned, “the threat persists.”

And even this week, a statement by the Global Coalition to Defeat IS, admitted the terror group remains both resilient and undaunted, with cells in Syria and Iraq to conduct an increasing number of attacks against coalition partners and coalition partner forces.

“This is a major concern for the entire Coalition, as it puts at risk key military gains and the stability necessary for recovery,” the statement said.

Islamic State, Terror, Comeback
FILE – A U.S. soldier sits in an armored vehicle on a road leading to the tense front line with Turkish-backed fighters, in Manbij, north Syria, April 4, 2018. Pixabay

Data compiled by the Syrian-based Rojava Information Center and published earlier this month seems to support such concerns.

The center found there were 139 attacks by IS sleeper cells in northeastern Syria alone in May, an increase of 61% over the previous month. The number of deaths also rose, 42% in May to 78, with increases even in previously secure areas.

In addition to the attacks, IS has been blamed for burning hundreds of hectares of farmland in Syria and Iraq.

According to the most recent U.S. estimates, IS still commands at least 10,000 fighters across the two countries.  But despite the threat, U.S. troops involved in supporting the fight against IS have been leaving Syria.

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“The number of U.S. forces that are present now is quite a bit lower than when the drawdown began,” Chris Maier, the director of the Pentagon’s Defeat IS Task Force, told a small group of reporters last month.

“U.S. force numbers will continue to draw down as conditions continue to, we hope, improve,” he added.

Since then, some U.S. forces have been assigned to return to Syria, but according to U.S. defense officials, their primary mission is to protect forces there from growing threats from Iranian proxies in the region.

The overall trendlines, though, concern the authors of the ISW report, calling the lessening U.S. engagement, especially in Syria, “a critical mistake.”

Instead, the report calls on the U.S. to develop a long-term strategy that combines both military and a plan to address ongoing economic and humanitarian problems.

“Another limited intervention will not be sufficient,” concludes study co-author Jennifer Cafarella.

“The ISIS campaign in Iraq and Syria has demonstrated to ostensibly liberated communities that they are not safe, perpetuating conditions of fear and distrust that will make it increasingly difficult to establish durable and legitimate security and political structures.” (VOA)