Bangladesh vows to "hunt down" secular blogger's killers


Dhaka vowed on Saturday to hunt down the killers of secular blogger Niloy Chakrabarti, who became the fourth such writer to be murdered in Bangladesh by suspected Islamist militants this year.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said the nation's intelligence agencies went straight to work after a gang of machete-armed attackers hacked the blogger to death at his home in the capital on Friday.

"We hope we'll catch the killers soon. They'll be hunted down," the minister said, adding that the perpetrators appeared to have been well-prepared for the assault. Police confirmed Chakrabarti, 30, was murdered at his home in the capital's Goran neighbourhood by a group of four people who had pretended to look for a place to rent. Asha Moni, wife of the slain blogger, later told reporters that one of the men attacked her husband shouting "Allahu Akbar (God is greatest)".

The Bangladesh branch of Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), Ansar al-Islam, claimed the murder and warned of more to come, according to monitoring group SITE.

Chakrabarti is the fourth secular blogger to be killed in the Muslim-majority nation since February, when Bangladeshi-born US citizen Avijit Roy was hacked to death in Dhaka.

Nur Alam, assistant police commissioner in Dhaka, said the killing bore the hallmarks of other bloggers' murders. "It seems that it (the murder) was carried out by an extremist Islamic group," he said.

Bangladesh is an officially secular country, but more than 90 per cent of its 160 million people are Muslim.    (AFP)

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