A Japanese citizen was shot dead by gunmen in the northern Bangladesh town of Kaunia in Rangpur district on Saturday, 3 October. This comes just days after an Italian aid worker was murdered in an attack claimed by the Islamic State (Isis).
The victim has been identified as 65-year-old Hoshi Kunio, who was an official of the Netherlands-based NGO, ICCO Cooperation. He had recently started a farm in Rangpur to produce grass for agricultural purposes.
Local police officer Rezaul Karim said a group of miscreants opened fire at Kunio while he was walking on a street in Rangpur district. He was shot thrice by two motorcycle-borne men in the chest, shoulder and hand. He died while being taken to the Rangpur Medical College Hospital. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.
Italian aid worker Cesare Tavella was shot thrice on 28 September while jogging at Gulshan diplomatic zone in Dhaka and died later in hospital. Although the IS claimed responsibility for the attack, Bangladesh has dismissed the claim, saying there was no evidence. It described the killing as an "isolated incident."
The attack on Tavella prompted the US and UK governments to warn its citizens to be cautious. Shortly after, international schools closed temporarily and Western embassies restricted their diplomats' movements in the country. Australia's cricket team too cancelled a planned tour of the country over security concerns.
In the recent past, Bangladesh has seen instances of secular and atheist bloggers being hacked to death by hardline Islamist groups. This year alone four bloggers were murdered. Apart from bloggers and writers, individuals critical of Islam have also been targeted. Television presenter Nurul Islam Faruqi was killed at his home. Humanist academic Shafiul Islam, who had called for a ban on face veils, was murdered too. A UK-based Bangladeshi blogger Arif Rahman has also been named on an international Islamist hit list.
It is, as of now, not clear if there is any link of the murders of these foreign nationals with such events from the past as attacks on foreigners are rare in the country and have not been witnessed in a long while.