NEW DELHI — Unidentified assailants fatally stabbed two men in Bangladesh’s capital Monday night, including a gay rights activist who also worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development, police said, in the latest in a series of attacks targeting atheists, moderates and foreigners.
Police said they suspected radical Islamists in the attack, which occurred two days after a university professor was hacked to death. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
The victims were identified as USAID employee Xulhaz Mannan, who previously worked as a U.S. Embassy protocol officer, and his friend, Tanay Majumder, according to Mohammed Iqbal, a police officer in Dhaka’s Kalabagan area. Mannan was also an editor of Bangladesh’s first gay rights magazine, Roopbaan, as well as a cousin of former Foreign Minister Dipu Moni of the governing Awami League party.
The U.S. ambassador condemned the killing, just weeks after the U.S. government and numerous rights groups urged the government of the Muslim-majority country to better protect its citizens and secure free speech.