Bangladesh re­jects IS claim of killing Ja­panese man


For the sec­ond time in a week, Bangladesh’s gov­ern­ment on Sun­day re­jected a claim by the Is­lamic State group that it was re­spon­si­ble for gun­ning down a for­eigner in the South Asian coun­try.

Af­ter as­sailants shot and killed Ja­panese citizen Ku­nio Hoshi in north­ern Bangladesh on Satur­day, the Is­lamic State group is­sued a state­ment claim­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tack, ac­cord­ing to the SITE In­tel­li­gence Group, which mon­i­tors ji­hadi post­ings online. The re­port could not be in­de­pen­dently con­firmed. The Is­lamic State also claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the killing of an Ital­ian aid worker last week in Bangladesh’s cap­i­tal.

“Oh, it’s ab­so­lutely rub­bish, there is no IS in the coun­try, no way,” Bangladeshi Home Min­is­ter Asaduz­za­man Khan told The As­so­ci­ated Press on Sun­day. “Why would IS do this here? These are in­ci­dents for cre­at­ing in­sta­bil­ity in the coun­try.”

“The claims are fishy and we are ex­am­in­ing,” he said.

Khan’s view was echoed by Prime Min­is­ter Sheikh Hasina, who also dis­missed the Is­lamic State’s claims.

“Some­one will post some­thing online ... why should we ac­cept that un­less we prove that? We can­not ac­cept that,” she told re­porters.

Fol­low­ing the Is­lamic State’s claim of re­spon­si­bil­ity for the Sept. 28 killing of Ital­ian aid worker Ce­sare Tavella, who was gunned down by mo­tor­bike-rid­ing as­sailants in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s gov­ern­ment said there was no ev­i­dence that the ex­trem­ist group was in­volved and called it an “iso­lated in­ci­dent.”

Hasina on Sun­day blamed the coun­try’s main op­po­si­tion Bangladesh Na­tion­al­ist Party and its key ally, Ja­maat-e-Is­lami, for the at­tacks, ac­cus­ing the two groups of try­ing to desta­bi­lize the coun­try.

She said the two killings were sim­i­lar and that the same peo­ple were likely be­hind both of them.

“Our in­tel­li­gence is work­ing on that,” Hasina said, adding that her ad­min­is­tra­tion would “def­i­nitely” cap­ture and try those be­hind the at­tacks.

Satur­day’s at­tack took place in Mahi­ganj vil­lage in Rang­pur dis­trict. Lo­cal res­i­dents re­ported that two as­sailants shot three times at Hoshi, said Rezaul Karim, a po­lice of­fi­cial. A third man waited for the pair on a mo­tor­bike, and the three then fled to­gether on the bike.

Po­lice have filed a mur­der case, ac­cus­ing three un­named peo­ple in the shoot­ing, Karim said Sun­day.

Karim said Hoshi had started a grass farm in Rang­pur, which is about 300 kilo­me­ters (185 miles) north of Dhaka. Ja­panese media re­ported that Hoshi was 66.

An of­fi­cial from the Ja­panese for­eign min­istry’s anti-ter­ror­ism depart­ment said in Tokyo that in light of the Is­lamic State group’s claim of re­spon­si­bil­ity, Ja­panese of­fi­cials were in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent as a pos­si­ble ter­ror­ist at­tack. The of­fi­cial spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity, cit­ing min­istry rules.

The min­istry is­sued a state­ment urg­ing Ja­panese to use cau­tion over­seas, par­tic­u­larly in Bangladesh and other pre­dom­i­nantly Mus­lim na­tions, “in or­der not to be em­broiled in kid­nap­pings, threats, ter­ror­ist at­tacks and other unan­tic­i­pated events.”

Bangladesh has been strug­gling in re­cent months with a rise in vi­o­lence claimed by hard-line Is­lamic groups, ban­ning sev­eral that have been blamed for killing four blog­gers this year.


A Ja­panese doc­tor, front right, and the chief se­cu­rity of­fi­cer of the Ja­panese em­bassy in Bangladesh, walk back from the morgue af­ter the au­topsy on the body of killed Ja­panese citizen Ku­nio Hoshi at Mahi­ganj vil­lage in Rang­pur dis­trict, 300 kilo­me­ters (185 miles) north of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sun­day, Oct. 4.

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