Outspoken atheist from Manor Park killed by suspected religious radicals in Bangladesh
- Credit: AP
A student activist who blogged about atheism and secularism in Bangladesh has been hacked and shot to death by suspected Islamic radicals as he was walking with a friend in Dhaka, police have said.
Officers believe Nazimuddin Samad, 28, whose family are understood to be from Manor Park, Newham, was targeted for the fatal attack in the nation’s capital last night as a result of his outspoken atheism in the majority Muslim country.
His attackers are thought to be three men who were riding on a single motorbike, according to police.
Mr Samad was also known to have supported a 2013 movement to demand capital punishment for war crimes involving the country’s independence war against Pakistan in 1971.
In a statement to the Associated Foreign Press, Syed Nurul Islam, deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan police, said: “At least four assailants hacked Nazimuddin Samad’s head with a machete on Wednesday night.
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“As he fell down, one of them shot him with a pistol from close range. He died on the spot. It is a case of targeted killing. But no group has claimed responsibility.”
Speaking to the Evening Standard, a friend of Mr Samad’s family said they were preparing to fly out to Bangladesh as soon as possible, adding: “Everything is very raw at the moment.”
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The killing follows a string of similar attacks last year, when at least five secular bloggers and publishers were killed, allegedly by radical Islamists.
• Did you know Nazimuddin Samad? Call 020 8477 3981 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to pay tribute.
Additional reporting by PA.