Bangladesh: Unidentified assailants attack Italian priest | world | Hindustan Times
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Bangladesh: Unidentified assailants attack Italian priest

world Updated: Dec 20, 2015 16:21 IST
HT Correspondent
This file photo taken on October 14, 2015 shows workers carrying the coffin containing Italian citizen Cesare Tavella, who was shot to death on September 28 by unidentified assailants, from the morgue at the Dhaka Medical College in Dhaka.
This file photo taken on October 14, 2015 shows workers carrying the coffin containing Italian citizen Cesare Tavella, who was shot to death on September 28 by unidentified assailants, from the morgue at the Dhaka Medical College in Dhaka.(AFP)

Unidentified assailants shot and injured an Italian priest in northern Bangladesh on Wednesday morning, the third time a foreigner has been targeted in the country since September.

Three men riding motorcycles shot 57-year-old Piero Arolari near a bus stand in Dinajpur town at 8.30am, police said. Local residents rushed him to a nearby hospital with head and neck injuries.

Earlier, an Italian aid worker was shot dead in the Gulshan diplomatic area of Dhaka and a Japanese agriculture worker was shot dead in another northern district days later.

A police official said the Italian national worked as a doctor at a missionary hospital in Dinajpur, where he has lived for 35 years. “We are trying to determine exactly what happened,” police official Abul Hasan said.

Arolari was later flown to Dhaka for better treatment.

No group claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attack, which came at a time when Bangladesh is struggling to investigate the killings of four secular bloggers and a publisher of secular books in attacks allegedly carried out by radical Islamic groups.

The Islamic State had claimed responsibility for the earlier attacks but authorities rejected this, saying the group has no presence in the country.

Map of Bangladesh locating the area where gunmen shot and wounded an Italian priest on Wednesday. (AFP)

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks but authorities have rejected this, saying the group has no presence in the country. The claims by the IS could not be independently verified.

A police official in Dinajpur said by phone on Wednesday the Italian national was a physician and priest in a local Catholic church.

Doctors were determining whether he was shot or stabbed, said police official Abul Hasan. “We are trying to determine exactly what happened,” he said.

No group claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attack, which came at a time when Bangladesh is struggling to investigate the killings of four secular bloggers and a publisher of secular books in attacks allegedly carried out by radical Islamic groups.