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Isis claims responsibility for shooting dead Italian in Bangladesh
By SP_COP on September 29, 2015 | From www.theguardian.com
Isis claims responsibility for shooting dead Italian in Bangladesh Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the fatal shooting of an Italian citizen on a street in the diplomatic quarter of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, according to an intelligence group monitoring jihadi threats.

The claim by the extremist group, which controls swaths of Iraq and Syria and is intent on expanding its influence across the Muslim world, could not immediately be verified independently. If it was confirmed it would mark the group’s first attack in the secular south Asian nation.

Bangladesh has been struggling in recent months with the rapid rise of hardline Islamist groups, banning several that have been blamed in the killing of four bloggers this year.

The British and US governments have warned their nationals to be aware of a current security threat in Bangladesh in the aftermath of this most recent shooting.

Police in Dhaka said they had no leads in tracing the three unidentified assailants who, riding on a single motorcycle, drove up alongside Italian citizen Cesare Tavella and shot him on Monday night.

“We have no idea, we can’t say anything definitively for now,” police official Mukhlesur Rahman said, declining to comment on Isis’s claim of responsibility.

There have been worrying signs in recent weeks that extremist groups based in Bangladesh are developing a more international perspective.

This month a hit list of international bloggers believed to have been compiled by the Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), a local group of militants who have claimed responsibility for several murders of secular campaigners and writers in Bangladesh, was circulated on the internet.

The ABT has been linked to an affiliate of al-Qaida, the veteran militant organisation, which has been trying to build up its south Asian presence for several years.

The formation of a new affiliate, al-Qaida in South Asia, was announced by the group’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, a year ago.

The surge in Islamic militant violence in Bangladesh may in part be driven by bitter competition between al-Qaida and Isis. Both aspire to lead Islamic extremism worldwide, but differ widely over strategy.

Both seek maximum publicity for their actions.

Witnesses of the attack on the Italian said they heard at least three gunshots and saw the attackers flee after their target fell to the ground, according to police.

Tavella, in his 50s, had been living alone in Dhaka after arriving in May to work on food security issues for a Netherlands-based church cooperative, according to his colleague Alo Rani Dhali.

Isis reportedly said in a statement dated on Monday that a “security detachment” had tracked and killed Tavella with “silenced weapons” in Dhaka, according to the SITE intelligence group’s website

It was not immediately clear how close the witnesses were to the attack, and how the gunshots could have been heard if a silencer was used....
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