TANGAIL, BANGLADESH: The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the murder of a Hindu tailor in central Bangladesh on Saturday, a US-based monitoring group said.
Nikhil Chandra Joarder, who was hacked to death by at least two attackers outside his shop, may have been killed for making derogatory remarks about the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) several years ago, police said.
"Elements from the Islamic State assassinated a Hindu in the city of Tangail in Bangladesh by stabbing him to death," the IS-affiliated Amaq news agency said, citing a source, according to SITE Intelligence Group.
"He was known for blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)," Amaq added in the Arabic-language message.
Police officials told AFP they were investigating whether the killing was linked to militants or tied to a family dispute.
"They came on a motorcycle and attacked him as he sat on a roadside. They hacked him on his head, neck and hand," deputy chief of Tangail district police Aslam Khan told AFP.
He added that the victim, named as Nikhil Chandra Joarder, 50, may have been murdered for allegedly making derogatory remarks about the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) several years ago.
Bangladesh jails Hindu teachers for 'abusing Islam'
Police officials told AFP they were investigating whether the killing was linked to militants suspected of a series of murders of minorities, or was tied to a family dispute.
They said local Muslims had filed a complaint against the victim, who owned a tailoring shop, to police in 2012 for making comments about the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh).
"But as far as we know that dispute ended peacefully. His family said he was also threatened by a relative," a senior police official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Gay rights activist among two hacked to death in Bangladesh
The murder came less than a week after suspected militants hacked to death two gay rights activists in the capital Dhaka, saying they tried to promote homosexuality in the deeply conservative nation.
In February suspected militants also decapitated a top Hindu priest in a northern district in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group.
The IS has also claimed responsibility for a spate of recent murders of foreigners, and Sufi, Ahmadi, Shia and Christian minorities.
Hindus, the country's largest religious minority, make up nearly 10 percent of Bangladesh's 160 million people.
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