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Militant, ‘attacker of a secular publisher,’ held in Bangladesh


Dhaka, June 16, 2016: Secular publisher Ahmedur Rashid Tutul was killed in a machete attack on October 31 last year.

Bangladeshi detectives today (June 16) claimed to have arrested a militant who directly took part in the murder attempt on secular publisher Ahmedur Rashid Tutul last year.

The arrestee, Shihab alias Saiful alias Sumon alias Shakib, is said to be a member of banned militant outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) – a group accredited with several militant killings.

Police earlier had floated photos and placed a bounty on the heads of four members of the outfit on May 19 this year. There was a 200,000 taka (US$2,496) bounty on Shihab’s head.

Unknown assailants hacked to death Faisal Arefin Dipan of Jagriti Prokashani and critically injured Shuddhoswar’s Ahmedur Rashid Tutul on October 31 last year. The twin attacks spaced by a matter of hours spread a wave of panic throughout the country.

Tutul and two bloggers Ranadipam Basu and Tareque Rahim came under machete attacks at the Lalmatia office of Shuddhoswar. Tareque was also shot in the chest.

Hours after the attack, a group “Ansar Al Islam” (al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent’s Bangladesh branch),” claimed responsibility through an email sent to different media outlets.

Shihab was arrested from airport road in Dhaka last night, Masudur Rahman, deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) media wing, told The Daily Star.

The arrest came during a countrywide mass crackdown. So far, over 11,000 people, mostly warranted criminals, have been detained in the drive and less than 200 militants nabbed.