Bangladesh: Ahmadiyya Imam attacked in Mosque

Imam Mostafizur Rahman was hacked with sharp weapons indiscriminately inside the mosque around 9pm

The imam of an Ahmadiyya mosque in Mymensingh was critically injured after he was hacked by a group of three youths inside the mosque Monday night in a suspected militant attack.

Imam Mostafizur Rahman, 35, of Khanpur mosque in Ishwarganj area was hacked with sharp weapons indiscriminately around 9pm after the Esha prayers. The attackers tried to flee as locals came to his rescue.

The imam was first taken to the Upazila health Complex and then shifted to Mymensingh Medical College as his condition deteriorated.

One of the three attackers, Ahad, has been detained by the locals. He is also undergoing treatment at the hospital under police custody. Ahad hails from Kalmakanda of Netrokona.

Police Superintendent Syed Nurul Islam visited the injured imam at the hospital around 10:30pm. He hoped that the two others would be arrested soon. He, however, did not say anything about the motive of the attack.

OC Badrul Alam of Ishwarganj police could not be reached over the phone.

Mostafizur hails from Dohanda village under Kahalu Upazila in Dinajpur. He has been working at the mosque for the last two years.

Earlier, members of militant group New JMB carried out a suicide attack on an Ahmadiyya mosque in Rajshahi’s Baghmara on December 25, 2015. Ten devotees were injured in the bomb attack. International terrorist group Islamic State claimed responsibilities for the attack.

The suicide bomber, Md Tarek Aziz alias Musa, was killed in the explosion while Jamal Uddin, who helped Aziz to carry the bomb inside the mosque, was killed in a shoot-out at Godagari of Rajshahi on June 7, 2016, a day after his arrest.

New JMB has carried out most of its attacks with the help of three-man teams.

The Ahmadiyya community people are termed anti-Islamic by local Islamist groups including Jamaat-e-Islami and Hefazat-e-Islam. Hefazat urged the government to ban Ahmadiyyas in its 13-point demands placed in 2013.

Ahmadiyya supporters and mosques have come under violent attacks in different places across the country over the last few decades.