Japanese man killed in Bangladesh

  • 04/10/2015

A Japanese citizen has been shot dead by gunmen in a northern Bangladesh town, police say, just days after an Italian aid worker was murdered in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group.

Police said on Saturday (local time) the victim, whom they named as 66-year-old Hoshi Kunio, was riding in a rickshaw when he was shot dead in Kaunia town in Rangpur district.

"He was travelling to the town from Rangpur city, where he had been living for a while, on a cycle rickshaw when his vehicle was stopped by three men riding on a motorcycle," deputy police chief of Rangpur, Saifur Rahman, told AFP on Saturday.

The Bangladesh government sought to allay concerns over the safety of foreign nationals in the country after the second killing in a week, saying it was taking both murders "very seriously".

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Kamal said the killings of the two foreigners appeared to be linked.

"We see both the killings are similar. (In both the incidents,) three killers came on motorcycles and (they) fired shots from behind with pistols," he said.

"The aim of the murder of innocent people in this way is to make an attempt to create instability in the country," Kamal added as he vowed to bring the killers to task.

Kunio was a frequent visitor to Bangladesh and worked on a farming project in Rangpur, about 300 kilometres north of the capital Dhaka, police said.

"Two of the assailants shot him twice in the chest with pistols while the other waited with the motorbike ready to flee," local police chief Rezaul Karim said, adding four people had been interrogated over the murder but none had been arrested.