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Nine hurt in Hindu temple bombing in Bangladesh

Alleged extremist captured following second attack on place of worship in five days

Nine hurt in Hindu temple bombing in Bangladesh

At least nine people were injured in an attack on a Hindu temple in northwestern Bangladesh Dec. 10, the second such attack on the religious minority in the area in recent days.

About 15 armed attackers detonated four crude bombs and opened fire while people were at evening prayers at the temple in Kaharul, in Dinajpur district.

Local villagers captured one of the alleged attackers.

"Two people were shot while six or seven other people were hurt in a stampede," Monsur Ali, officer in-charge at Kaharul police station told ucanews.com.

"People have captured one of the attackers. We suspect he and the others are members of a local militant outfit," he said.

The attack comes five days after another bomb attack on a Hindu temple in the area, left six people injured.

Hindus make up country's largest religious minority group accounting for 8 percent of Bangladesh's 160 million people.

Meanwhile Hundreds of people formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka on Dec. 11 to protest the latest attack.

Dhaka-based ISKCON Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council organized the protest.

"This attack is a continuation of sectarian attacks by Islamic fundamentalists following the ideology of the Islamic State. This is a part of preplanned conspiracy to eliminate minorities from the country," Rana Dasgupta, a Hindu lawyer and council secretary told ucanews.com.

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"Minorities are living in fear over repeated attacks. Unless the government takes swift action to find out, punish and uproot religious fanatics, minorities won't be able to live in peace in this country," he added.

The Catholic Church also condemned the attack.

"This is just another unacceptable, saddening and frightening incident targeting minorities in the country," said Theophil Nokrek, secretary of the bishops' Justice and Peace Commission.

Sunni-majority Bangladesh has seen a rise in Islamic extremist violence this year.

Four secular bloggers and a publisher were killed in machete attacks allegedly for writing and publishing material critical of religions, especially Islam.

Meanwhile, an Italian aid worker and a Japanese man were both murdered, while a Protestant pastor and an Italian Catholic priest narrowly escaped murder attempts.

 

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