Al Qaeda claims killings of LGBTI activists in Bangladesh

Al Qaeda affiliated group claimed responsibility for deaths of two LGBTI activists in Bangladesh.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

The bodies of two gay rights activists who were hacked to death are brought down from an apartment in Dhaka, on April 25, 2016.

A group affiliated to Al Qaeda claimed responsibility on Tuesday for killing a Bangladeshi LGBTI activist and his friend, the latest in a string of murders of liberal activists and other minorities in the South Asian nation.

Five or six assailants went to the apartment of Xulhaz Mannan, 35, an editor of Rupban, Bangladesh's first magazine for LGBTI, and attacked him and a friend with sharp weapons, Dhaka city police spokesman Maruf Hossain Sordar said.

The killings took place two days after a university professor was killed in a similar fashion on Saturday in an attack claimed by DAESH.

However, government denied that it was a DAESH-led assassination.

Mannan was employed by the US embassy, working for the US Agency for International Development, the State Department in Washington said.

State Department spokesman, John Kirby, said that the United States was "outraged" by the "barbaric attack." He called Mannan, "a beloved member of our embassy family and a courageous advocate for LGBTI rights - human rights, actually."

"LGBTI" stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex.

TRTWorld, Reuters