The Islamic State says it was behind the fatal stabbing of a Christian man in Bangladesh.
Via Twitter, ISIS claimed responsibility for the murder of 68-year-old Hussein Ali Sarkar on March 22, Reuters reported. Authorities said Sarkar was taking his usual morning walk in Kurigram, a district in the country's north, when he was swarmed by three attackers.
“They left the scene exploding crude bombs to create panic,” Kurigram district police chief Tobarak Ullah told Reuters.
ISIS claimed Sarkar was a preacher, but Ullah said the victim was a convert who chose Christianity in favor of Islam in 1999. On Twitter, the terrorist group said the attack was intended as a "lesson to others."
Five men were rounded up for questioning, Ullah told the news service.
While the Bangladeshi government has denied that the Islamic State has a presence in the country, Sarkar's murder is the latest of a series of incidents linked to the group. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the murders of two foreigners and attacks on other religious groups, including Ahmadi Muslims, whom ISIS regard as polytheists, according to the Catholic Herald.
Over the past three years, the Herald said, nine atheist bloggers have been murdered or seriously injured by Islamic militants.
Despite the fact that ISIS took credit for Sarkar's murder — and his attackers used explosives to create chaos at the scene — Ullah denied that there was any evidence tying the attack to the terrorist group.
“We have started an investigation into the murder," he told Reuters. "So far, we have not found any militant link.”