12/18/2015, 00.00
BANGLADESH

One of Fr. Piero Parolari's attackers confesses

Sumon Corraya
Sariful Islam is a member of the Islamist group Jamaat-ul-Mujiahideen, banned by the local government. In addition to the ambush of the missionary of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, he also confessed the attack on a Hindu temple. Authorities meet Christian leaders and ensure maximum safety for the Christmas celebrations.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Sariful Islam, a member of the Islamist group Jamaat-ul-Mujiahideen, yesterday confessed to having organized and personally carried out the attack on Fr. Piero Parolari a missionary priest with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, on 18 November in Dinajpur. Deputy police inspector Bazlur Rashid confirms the confession: "Islam also carried out an attack on a Hindu temple in the country”.

The Jamaat-ul-Mujiahideen was established in 1998. The local government officially banned it in February of 2015, after a series of attacks carried out against some NGOs. After several months of silence, the group returned to the forefront again in August of 2015 with hundreds of attacks in more than 300 different locations around the Bangladesh.

Fr. Parolari, 64, is a doctor and missionary priest who worked  in Suihari parish. He had been in Bangladesh since 1985, where he worked at the St. Vincent hospital. The ambush was carried out by three armed men on a motorcycle, who shot him on his way  to the hospital.

The ambush of the PIME priest confirms a tense atmosphere in the country, where in recent weeks dozens of Catholics and Protestants have received death threats.

The authorities are still committed to ensuring the safety of the Christian community during the holiday season. Yesterday the Catholic leaders and the various Christian denominations met at the Metropolitan Commissioner of Dhaka for talks with top police officials. Nirmal Rozario, attended the meeting, told AsiaNews: "We received great reassurance for Christmas celebrations".

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