POLICE in Bangladesh last Sun day (19) shot dead a militant wanted for the killings of sever al liberal bloggers and gay rights activists, a senior official said.
The militant, identified as Sharif, one of the leaders of the banned group Ansar Ullah Bangla Team, took part in the killing of blogger Avijit Roy, a US citizen of Bangladeshi origin, in Dhaka last year, police official Abdul Baten said. Sharif was also behind the killing of two gay rights activists in April, as well as four other bloggers and a publisher, Baten added.
Bangladesh, a deeply religious but moderate Muslim-majority
country of 160 million people, is struggling to control attacks by Islamist groups on bloggers critical of extremism, atheists and religious minorities.
The government, facing growing pressure from an international community alarmed by the spate of attacks, launched a crackdown across the country under which more than 11,000 people have been arrested. Rights groups and opposition parties say hundreds of innocent people have been taken into police custody as part of the crackdown.