Devotees carry a man wounded in an attack on Thursday after several gunmen barged into a Shiite mosque in Bangladesh and opened fire. Photo: AP
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ISTANBUL – The extremist group of Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a Shiite mosque in Bangladesh, pro-ISIS media sources reported on Friday.
ISIS says “five Mujahideen” (jihadists) hit the mosque by machine guns’ shots where 20 worshippers were performing prayers on Thursday (November 26) at the Shiite mosque in Haripur village in the Bogra district of northern Bangladesh –about 200 kilometers northwest of Dhaka.
At least one person was killed and three others were hardly wounded before the assailants fled, Bogra police told reporters.
“On Friday, we detained two suspects for interrogation,” the police said in a statement. “They were picked up from the area of the attack,” it said, without giving further details.
The mosque’s imam, 70, who had been leading the prayers, was also killed in the deadly attack.
The ISIS terror group, which holds control of vast swaths of Syria and Iraq, has claimed its responsibility for Bangladesh attack through affiliated activists and sympathizers online.
By this, ISIS confirms it is an “overseas group” since it has been able to reach into the South Asian nations.
Local authorities couldn’t immediately verify the group’s claim, saying it (ISIS) has no presence in the country, and perpetuators were likely from the hardline group of Jamaat al-Mujahedeen in Bangladesh.
Thursday’s attack is the latest example in which ISIS has boasted through a series of deadly assaults carried out on foreigners this year. Some secular writers and Shiite communities in the Sunni-majority nation were also exposed to similar attacks.
Last September, Italian national Cesare Tavella, 51, was shot dead while heading home in Dhaka district.
“The soldiers of the Caliphate in Bangladesh pursued Tavella and then shot him,” ISIS said in a statement at the time.
“We say to all citizens of the Crusader coalition (anti-ISIS international coalition), you will not be safe in the Muslim lands,” ISIS warned. “This is just the beginning.”
Weeks later, police said four Bangladeshis had been arrested in Tavella’s killing, dismissing their links to the terror group.
The Islamic State hardline group has also claimed responsibility for the killings of an Italian aid worker and a Japanese agricultural worker, but the Bangladeshi government reiterated there is “no organizational presence” for ISIS in the country.
Bangladeshi authorities, which have repeatedly denied the presence of ISIS in the impoverished nation, accuse domestic Islamist groups along with the main opposition of carrying out terror attacks to destabilize the country for political gains.
Earlier this week, the ISIS radical group released a new video message threatening dozens of countries around the world with deadly attacks similar to those that hit Paris two weeks ago.
Reporting by: Egid Yousef
Source: ARA News