Bangladeshi police arrest Islamic militant suspected of hacking gay editor to death
Bangladesh police have arrested a member of an Islamic militant group for the murder of a two gay rights activists.
According to reports, the police force on Sunday said they had arrested the man in relation to the murders of Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Tonoy.
The victims were found dead in an apartment in Dhaka in April.
Speaking to AFP, a police spokesman Maruf Hossain Sorder said 37-year-old Shariful Islam Sihab was arrested.
The suspect is a member of the Ansarullah Bangla Team, which has been blamed for the killings of academics, as well as religious and sexual minorities.
Several members of the same group were convicted last year for the 2013 murder of an atheist blogger.
Sihab denied killing the men, but reportedly owns one of two guns used to kill the men.
He has apparently admitted supplying the gun to be used in the attack.
Mannan and Tonoy were murdered by six men carrying machetes and guns on 25 April. The killers were believed to have posed as couriers to gain access to the building, which housed the Roopban gay magazine, of which Mannan was the editor.
Both Mannan, who previously worked for USAID, and Tonoy had received threats from militants for standing up for gay rights
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A third person was injured in the attack, for which Daesh (ISIS) attempted to take responsibility – Bangladeshi authorities denied any Daesh presence in the country.
The arrest took place in Kushtia on Saturday. Sihab was taken into custody as an old Buddhist monk was found hacked to death in a temple.
Last weekend an attack by Daesh saw small children forced to look on as a man accused of “sodomy” was thrown from a building and stoned to death.
Daesh militants last month executed a teenaged boy in Syria for being gay by throwing him off a roof.
The group has executed hundreds of men for homosexuality as it expands beyond its strongholds.
The United Nations Security Council recently discussed the group’s tactics in persecuting LGBT people, as well as spreading terror and committing other atrocities.
Mr Gay Syria has said he wants to show that Syrian gay men are more than ‘bodies thrown off buildings’, standing up to extremists who beheaded his boyfriend.