09/29/2015, 00.00
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Bangladesh, Islamic State militants claim murder of Italian volunteer

by Sumon Corraya
Caesar Tavella was a veterinarian. He was in the Asian country to work with a Dutch NGO that deals with poverty and hunger in the world. Attacked by three men leaving work. Dynamics of murder unclear. Police suspect other culprits. The country is not safe for Christians.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Islamic State (IS) militants have claimed responsibility for last night's murder of Caesar Tavella, a 50 year-old Italian volunteer working in Bangladesh with a Dutch NGO. The man was killed by three armed men after work, while jogging in Gulshan, the diplomatic area of ​​the capital, near the Egyptian embassy.

The assailants fired three shots, one of which wounded him in the hand and the other two to the abdomen. Although IS extremists have claimed the crime because the man was a "crusader", the police suspect that the responsibility could be attributed to other groups.

The website Site Intelligence Group, which monitors the online activities of extremist organization, has published the jihadists statement announcing the man was killed as a vindication of Western presence in Asia. Cesare Tavella was a native of Ravenna.  The Italian veterinarian worked in the Asian country as the project manager for Profitable Opportunities for Food Security (Proofs), an initiative of the Dutch ICCO Cooperation, working worldwide to reduce poverty and ensure access to food.

The dynamics of the shooting is still unclear and the police believe that this is a planned attack. Some witnesses reported hearing three gunshots. Billal, a rickshaw driver, said he "heard the shots and then he saw a man on the ground. Immediately after he was transported to the United Hospital in Dhaka. " Mokhlesur Rahman, inspector general of police, told reporters that there is no evidence of a possible robbery, since personal items had not been stolen.

Following the murder, the governments of the United States, Britain, Canada and Australia have raised the alert level for their diplomatic missions in Bangladesh and the countries of South Asia. The American International School in the capital will remain closed today for fear of possible attacks. There are fears of further initiatives by the jihadists and some believe that the country is not safe for foreigners, especially for Christians from Europe and the United States. In 2012 another foreigner, employed in the Saudi embassy, was shot dead in front of his home.

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