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Japanese citizen shot dead in Bangladesh, four detained

A Japanese citizen Kunio Hoshi was shot dead in Bangladesh on Saturday, who was the second foreign national killed in the country within a week. The Bangladesh police said they had detained four people in connection with the shooting.

world Updated: Oct 03, 2015 20:37 IST
Bangladeshi security officers examine the site where the Japanese citizen Kunio Hoshi was shot dead by masked assailants on a motorbike, at Mahiganj village in Rangpur district, 300 km north of Dhaka.
Bangladeshi security officers examine the site where the Japanese citizen Kunio Hoshi was shot dead by masked assailants on a motorbike, at Mahiganj village in Rangpur district, 300 km north of Dhaka.(AP)

A Japanese citizen was shot dead in Bangladesh on Saturday, who was the second foreign national killed in the country within a week. The Bangladesh police said they had detained four people in connection with the shooting.

Kunio Hoshi, 65, a Japanese citizen born in Bangladesh, was attacked by unidentified assailants in Kownia in Rangpur district, 335km (210 miles) north of the capital, Dhaka, and died on the way to hospital, police said.

The killing bore some similarities to the shooting death of an Italian working in Bangladesh, Cesare Tavella. Islamic State claimed responsibility for that attack, the first such claim the militant group has made in Bangladesh.

“This killing was also carried by three masked men who came by motorcycle and used a pistol, so the motives may be same,” home minister Asaduzzaman Khan told Reuters.

“We have detained four persons and are trying to know the motive for the killing,” Farukh Hossain, an additional superintendent of police of Rangpur district, told Reuters. “We take both the killings seriously and hopefully will be able to identify the killers along with their motives,” home minister Asaduzzaman said.

He said that “killings of foreign citizens are aimed only at bringing down the image of our success and achievements inside and outside the country.”

Attacks on foreigners are rare in Bangladesh. But it has seen a rising tide of Islamist violence over the past year, in which four online critics of religious militancy were hacked to death, among them a U.S. citizen of Bangladesh origin.

After Tavella’s death, concerns that foreigners might be targeted prompted Western embassies to curtail the movements of diplomats in Bangladesh.

Police said one of the four detained people was a rickshaw puller and another is owner of a residence close to where the attack took place.

After the incident, the Japanese embassy in Bangladesh issued an alert for their citizens in the country.

“We have encouraged them to exercise a maximum level of vigilance,” an embassy official said.

In a separate alert, the South Korean embassy in Bangladesh also asked its citizens to exercise caution and maintain a high level of personal security awareness at all times in all places following the killing of a Japanese citizen this morning.

US Ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Bernicat said in a statement that she was saddened by the latest killing.

“I urge the government of Bangladesh to investigate every aspect of this crime and to bring the perpetrators to justice as soon as possible,?” she said.