A 75-year-old Buddhist monk has been hacked to death inside a temple in Bangladesh, police said. The body of Mongsowe U Chak was found on Saturday at the isolated temple where he lived alone in Naikkhangchhari village in Bandarban, about 338km (211 miles) southeast of the capital Dhaka, police said.
Police said they did not know the motive of the killing and no one had been arrested. The killing followed similar murders of two prominent gay activists, a law student, a Hindu tailor and a university professor in April. “His body was found with a slit throat. Police are saying he was most likely killed on Friday night,” Al Jazeera’s Tanvir Chauwdhury said, reporting from Dhaka.
“From 2013 until now we have seen a spree of murders in similar fashion … This is a major concern for the Bangladesh government.” Chauwdhury said the government regularly accused what it called “extremist groups” of carrying out such attacks, adding that in some cases blame was also pointed at opposition parties. “[But] very few are brought to justice,” Chauwdhury said.
The nation of 160 million people has seen a surge in violent attacks over the past few months in which liberal activists, members of minority Muslim sects and other religious groups have been targeted. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) has claimed responsibility for some of the killings. The government, though, denies the group has a presence in the country, saying homegrown groups are behind the attacks.