Asia

Bangladesh Shia mosque attacked by gunmen

Doctors attend to a little girl in Dhaka medical college hospital after a small bomb exploded outside the Bangladesh capital's main Shia religious site in Dhaka on October 24, 2015 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Last month's attack on a Shia shrine injured at least 80 people

Gunmen have opened fire on a Shia mosque in northern Bangladesh, killing at least one person and injuring three.

The attackers shot at worshippers in the mosque in the Bogra district during evening prayers, police said.

The incident comes a month after a grenade attack on a Shia shrine in the capital Dhaka killed one and hurt 80.

Bangladesh has seen several violent incidents in recent months, including attacks on foreigners and secular bloggers.

Thursday's gunfire came a day after police said they killed a militant leader named Al Bani, who was a key suspect in the 24 October grenade attack.

Police said that Al Bani headed the military wing of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (JMB), and that he died in an exchange of fire as they tried to arrest him.

The so-called Islamic State group had claimed it carried out the October attack - but the government says IS is not active in Bangladesh, and blamed local militant groups including the JMB.

Bangladesh is predominantly a Sunni Muslim nation, but attacks on Shia Muslims are extremely rare.

Who is behind the Bangladesh killings?

Behind the Bangladesh blogger murders

Image copyright AP
Image caption Last week, an Italian priest was attacked and injured by gunmen

The country has seen a rise in Islamist attacks on foreigners and bloggers.

An Italian aid worker was killed in September and a Japanese citizen in October.

Both attacks were claimed by IS but the government blamed the killings on local militants.

Last week, gunmen wounded an Italian priest in north-west Dinajpur district. No group said it carried out the attack.

Extremists have carried out a series of high-profile attacks on secular writers, hacking to death four bloggers - one a US citizen - so far this year.

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