IS claims Bangladesh mosque attack

  • 27/11/2015

Islamic State (IS) is claiming responsibility for an attack on worshippers at a Shi'ite mosque in northern Bangladesh that killed one and wounded three others.

The attackers entered the mosque in Shibganj, about 125 kilometres north of Dhaka, during early evening prayers on Thursday (local time) and opened fire on the gathered worshippers before fleeing.

Television footage showed the heavily guarded mosque with broken windows and blood stains on the floor.

Police said the muezzin had been killed and three worshippers wounded in the shooting, a rare attack on minority Shi'ite Muslims in the mainly Sunni nation.

The US-based SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist activity, said on its website IS had claimed responsibility in a message posted on Twitter.

Bangladesh authorities have previously said there is no evidence IS militants are active in the country.

However, the group has claimed a series of attacks in Bangladesh, including the shooting and wounding of an Italian priest and the killing of a Sufi Muslim shrine chief.

Security had been stepped up across the country after two top opposition leaders were hanged on Sunday following their conviction for war crimes committed during the 1971 independence conflict against Pakistan.

"We have picked up two Sunni locals for interrogation in connection to the shootout," Shibganj police chief Ahsan Habib said on Friday of the mosque attack, adding no arrests had yet been made.

The attackers struck a day after police shot dead a top Islamist militant accused of hurling grenades at the country's main Shi'ite shrine in the capital Dhaka last month, killing two people.