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Bangladesh launches crackdown after series of murders

Police shoot dead three men reportedly linked to recent series of violent attacks on minorities and secular activists.

Authorities in Bangladesh have launched a nationwide crackdown on suspects behind the latest slew of violent attacks on minorities and secular activists in the country.

Three suspected assailants were killed in gunfights with police in the capital, Dhaka, on Tuesday.

The men were "high-ranking" members of the Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), according to police officials.

Two of the men killed were linked to recent attacks, including the bombing of a Shia mosque and the murder of a liberal professor, police said.

In a separate development, a 70-year-old Hindu priest was found killed on Tuesday morning. Local police said that Ananda Gopal Ganguly was first shot then slashed by a sharp weapon while riding his bicycle to a temple.

The attack was similar to previous ones, but no group has yet claimed responsibility.

The wife of a senior police officer and a Christian grocer were also murdered in the past few days.

Authorities claim the attacks are due to local groups, denying the involvement of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group, while a Bangladeshi minister linked them to a larger conspiracy involving the main opposition.


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