06/20/2016, 13.22
BANGLADESH
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Assassin who murdered blogger Avijit Roy and LGBT activists is killed

Sharif was a leading member of an Islamic extremist party. He was killed in "crossfire" between police and militants. The dynamics of his death mirrors that of other recent killings. The anti-terrorist raid in recent weeks has led to the arrest of about 11 thousand people.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Police in Bangladesh have killed the mastermind behind the murders of blogger Avijit Roy and activists of the LGBT community, assassinated in recent months in the escalation of Islamic violence that has hit the country.

The killer, identified as Sharif, was one of the prominent members of the banned Islamic Ansarullah Bangla Team. He was killed in "crossfire" between police and extremists. The dynamics of the killing, however, throws shadows on the police operations.

Ajoy Roy, Avijit's father, told New Age newspaper that the "cross-fire was intentional. If Sharif had been captured alive, he could reveal more information. " The same position is shared by a Catholic source, anonymous for security, who told AsiaNews: "This mode of death, 'crossfire' is becoming a joke. The police operations are like photocopies: a suspect is arrested, but then accidentally dies in armed clashes between security forces and his supporters linked to extremist groups ".

Sharif was the prime suspect in the death of Avijit Roy, an American citizen with Bangladeshi origins. In February 2015 the man was hacked to death in front of his wife, who was wounded in the attack, while returning from a book fair. Avijit was the founder of Mukto-Mona blog ( "Free Thought") and supported democratic and secular ideas in a country with a Muslim majority.

His killing was the first episode of a long trail of blood unleashed by extremists against free thinkers, activists, students, professors. Their fault, that of being considered "atheists" and criticizing radical Islam.

In recent weeks the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has launched an anti-terrorist raid that led to the arrest of about 11 thousand people. Among these, however, the number of those who are really involved in terrorist groups is small. Also in police operations six suspected killers of other bloggers were killed. "All these coincidences do not seem random - says the source - and often the gunfights occur at night, while the police raids the criminals’ dens in search of weapons."

Although the prime minister said that "we will do whatever is necessary to stop these attacks", there are lingering suspicions of collusion between the police and the government, through "targeted" arrests apparently trying to marginalize the political opposition.

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