At least two people, including a prominent gay rights activist employed by the US embassy, have been killed by suspected Islamist militants in Bangladesh.
Suspected Islamist militants hacked to death a leading Bangladeshi gay rights activist employed by the US embassy in an apartment in Bangladesh’s capital on Monday, police said. Another person, believed to have been a friend of the activist, was also killed.
The killings took place two days after a university professor was slain in similar fashion on Saturday in an attack claimed by Islamic State.
Five or six assailants went to the apartment of Xulhaz Mannan, 35, an editor of Rupban, Bangladesh’s first magazine for gay, bisexual and transgender people, and attacked him and a friend with sharp weapons, Dhaka city police spokesman Maruf Hossain Sordar said.
They entered the apartment disguised as couriers, he said, quoting witnesses. The assailants also wounded a security guard. Witnesses added that the attackers shouted Islamist slogans as they fled the scene.
Mannan was employed by the US embassy, working for the US Agency for International Development, the State Department in Washington said. State Department spokesman John Kirby said the United States was “outraged” by the “barbaric attack.”
He called Mannan, “a beloved member of our embassy family and a courageous advocate for LGBTI rights – human rights, actually.”