Machete-wielding assailants hacked to death Washiqur Rahman, a secularist blogger, in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, on Monday, the second attack in five weeks on a critic of religion in Bangladesh.
Authorities said Rahman was killed on a busy street in the center of the city. Two suspects, believed to be students at a nearby religious school, were apprehended. A third alleged attacker escaped.
"Police on duty near the spot caught two attackers red-handed with three machetes as they were fleeing the scene after the incident," police official Humayan Kabir told Reuters.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police official Biplob Kumar Sarker said the suspects told police investigators that they targeted Rahman for his anti-Islamic writings.
The killing follows the Feb. 26 attack on secularist U.S. blogger Avijit Roy, who was hacked to death while returning from a book fair in Dhaka with his wife, Rafida Bonya Ahmed, who suffered head injuries and lost a finger in the attack.
The incidents come during a period of political turmoil in the country, with the government and main opposition group locked in a months-long standoff that has created a sense of deepening insecurity across the country.
In recent years, a string of secular-minded writers have been targeted in Bangladesh as the government has tried to crack down on hard-line groups seeking to create a state based on their interpretation of Sharia.
Blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider was killed in 2013 near his home in Dhaka after he led a protest demanding capital punishment for the leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party. The party leader was convicted of war crimes during Bangladesh's war for independence.
In 2004, Humayun Azad, a secularist writer and a professor at Dhaka University, was also attacked by armed men while returning home from a Dhaka book fair. He later died in Germany while undergoing treatment for his injuries.
Ahmed, blamed her husband's murder on religious fanatics and accused police on duty of not doing enough to stop the attack. His father told reporters last week that "apparently no progress" has been made in resolving the case.