PIME missionary targeted in Dinajpur gun attack
by Sumon Corraya

Dinajpur (AsiaNews) - The PIME (Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions) missionary, Fr. Piero Parolari, was seriously injured this morning in a gun attack.  The identity of the assailants is unknown but suspicions point to the work of Islamic radicals.

Fr. Parolari Piero, 64, is the assistant pastor of Suihari and doctor in St. Vincent hospital. This morning he was travelling on his motorbike from the parish to the hospital when he was hit in the neck by a bullet. He was immediately transported to the hospital where he underwent an emergency operation.  He is in a critical condition. After the emergency operation, doctors decided to transport him to Dhaka by helicopter.

Local police said they were not sure about the identity of the attackers, but people are certain that they are radical Muslims. In recent days, several Protestant pastors in Dhaka have received death threats from Islamic extremists.

The Bishop of Dinajpur, Msgr. Sebastian Tudu, told police that "it is unacceptable that our people become such easy targets. We need greater security measures".

"An attack on one of our priests - said a Dinajpur faithful - is an attack on all of us”.

Fr. Piero Parolari has spent more than 20 years in Bangladesh, arriving there in 1985. From 2001 to 2007 he was spiritual director in the PIME seminary in Rome. He graduated with a degree in medicine before becoming a missionary, placing his ability to as a doctor to treat the poor and especially those suffering from tuberculosis at the service of mission.