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Three arrested over church guard stabbing in Bangladesh

Police say the attack was over a personal feud but local Catholics are unconvinced

Three arrested over church guard stabbing in Bangladesh

St. Rita's Catholic Church of Mothurapur in Pabna district seen in this 2014 file photo. A night guard was stabbed by unidentified assailants on church premises on March 10. (ucanews.com photo)

March 14, 2017

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Police have arrested three suspects in connection with the stabbing of a Catholic Church guard in northern Bangladesh in the early hours of March 10.

A group of unidentified assailants stabbed Gilbert Costa outside St. Rita's Catholic Church of Mothurapur in Pabna district. He was sent to Pabna General Hospital for treatment, where he remains.

S.M. Habib, officer-in-charge of the local Chatmohar police station brushed off any links to Islamic extremists.

"As far as we know the case is not related to extremism or minority abuse. Costa and his relatives have a personal feud with local Muslims and we guess it propelled the attack," officer Habib told ucanews.com.

However, local Catholics, including the parish priest Father Dilip S. Costa, have refused to accept Habib's explanation.

"We are not clear what was behind the attack. Night guard Gilbert Costa said the attackers asked for the keys to the priests' rectory and nuns' convent and they stabbed him for refusing to handover the keys," Father Costa told ucanews.com.

"Police and media reported that personal enmity was the motive I question why the attackers chose church premises to carry out the violence and why they have asked for keys," the priest added.

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