Suicide attack on Bangladesh’s Ahmadiyya Mosque leaves 15 injured

A suicide bomber detonated an explosives belt during the Friday Prayer at a mosque in Bagmara, some 250 kilometers (150 miles) from the capital, Dhaka.Around 15 members of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community were injured in the blast.

About 70 people were praying in the mosque at the time, said one worshiper, Mohammad Shaheb Ali Talukder, who was one of the wounded.

When the bomber entered the mosque, “he first stood along with the people in the back and performed prayers on his own, but shortly after he came forward and stood besides me,” said Mr. Talukder, speaking by phone from a hospital in the city of Rajshahi.

”Suddenly I saw him put his hand inside a pocket in his clothes and a bomb exploded,” Mr. Talukder said.

Abdullah al-Mahmud, deputy police inspector general for the Rajshahi District, which includes Mochmoli, said the identity and motive of the bomber were unknown. But he said, “This is a rare incident for Bangladesh.”

Saiful Islam, president of the Ahmadiyya community in the village of Mochmoli, said the bomber was the only person killed. The Ahmadiyya, also known as Ahmadis, are members of a Muslim sect considered heretical by many conservative Muslims and are frequent targets of persecution.

As of now, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. But with militant groups such as the Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and the notorious Islamic State (IS) recently targeting Shiite mosques in Bangladesh, it is highly likely that one among them is the perpetrator behind the attack.