Bangladesh blogger hacked death
Picture taken on February 27 shows the dead body of Avijit Roy, a US blogger of Bangladeshi origin who was hacked to death, at Dhaka Medical Collage hospital morgue in DhakaGetty Images

Machete-wielding masked thugs have hacked another Bangladeshi secular blogger to death in the third such deadly attack since the start of the year.

Ananta Bijoy Das was attacked at 8.30am in Sylhet city, northeastern Bangladesh. "We have learnt that he was a writer," deputy commissioner of Sylhet police Faisal Mahmud told AFP.

According to Imran Sarker, head of the Blogger and Online Activists Network in Bangladesh, Das was "an atheist and wrote blogs for Mukto-Mona" (free-mind) a website once moderated by Avijit Roy, a Bangladeshi-born US writer who was hacked to death in the capital Dhaka in February.

The writer was chased down by four masked assailants before being stabbed to death

A friend of Das said the blogger received death threats from extremists for his writings. "He was on their hit list," Debasish Debu told AFP.

In March another blogger, 27-year-old Washiqur Rahman, described as a "progressive freethinker", was hacked to death in the capital Dhaka.

At the time of that killing, Sarker told IBTimes UK that bloggers are the most exposed and targeted by fanatics in the Muslim-majority nation because they dare to "raise their voice in the interests of society against injustice and extremism".

Avijit Roy was killed when he was returning with his wife Rafida Ahmed from the book fair held every February. He had received several death threats from Islamists for his writings on religion and science. He described himself on his Facebook page as a writer by passion.

"I have profound interest in freethinking, skepticism, philosophy, scientific thoughts and human rights of people," he wrote. "I write in the internet blogs (mainly in Mukto-Mona) and occasionally in some newspapers covering my interests."

He wrote about 10 books, including Biswasher Virus (Virus of Faith), his most well-known work.