Japanese citizen shot dead in Bangladesh

Japanese citizen shot dead in Bangladesh
PHOTO: The Daily Star/ANN

DHAKA - Gunmen kill a Japanese citizen in northern Bangladesh district of Rangpur this morning five days into the killing of an Italian in Dhaka.

A Japanese national was gunned down in Bangladesh district of Rangpur today, five days into the killing of an Italian citizen in the capital.

Kunio Hoshi, 66, was shot dead at Mahiganj area of Kawnia Upazila -- 335 kilometres north of the capital -- in the same fashion as Cesare Tavella was killed in diplomatic zone of the capital, Dhaka.

In both cases, the assailants came in motorbikes and left hurriedly after spraying bullets on the victims, according to police.

Kunio came to Bangladesh four months ago and had an agricultural project under which he grew Napier grass on two acres of leased land in Alutary village of Rangpur's Kawnia Upazila, which is five kilometres off Rangpur city.

Law enforcers detained three people for interrogation in connection with murder.

The three include one Zakaria Bala, owner of the house at Munshipara in Rangpur city where Hoshi used to stay as a paying guest. Several relatives of Zakaria, who is a local contractor, live in Japan. He was an acquaintance of Hoshi for long.

"Whenever Hoshi used to visit Bangladesh, he would stay at Zakaria's house," Nazrul Islam, assistant inspector general (media) at Police Headquarters, told The Daily Star.

The two other detainees are Md Monnaf, a rickshaw puller, and one Murad Hossain, 30, Abdur Razzak, Rangpur superintendent of police (SP), told The Daily Star.

Hoshi was going to his farm around 10:00am when three assailants riding a motorbike opened fire on the victim, the SP said quoting locals police said.

The firing took place just 50 yards off Hoshi's farm in Alutary, he added.

Mostofa Hossain, a small shop owner adjacent to the spot took the victim to Shatmatha area in the city on a battery-run autorickshaw. From there, he hired a pickup van and took Hoshi to Rangpur Medical College Hospital.

But after they reached the hospital, doctors pronounced Hoshi dead.

The victim received three bullets in the chest and hand.

His body has been kept at the hospital.

Talking to The Daily Star about the Japanese citizen, AIG Nazrul Islam said: "We've heard that Hoshi, being an acquaintance of Zakaria, used to visit Bangladesh once every year and stay at his house in Rangpur."

On September 28, Italian citizen Tavella was shot dead by criminals in Gulshan. He used to work as the project manager of Profitable Opportunities for Food Security (Proofs), a project of Netherlands-based organisation ICCO Cooperation.

Soon after the murder, Reuters reported that an online statement in the name of the hardline Islamist group Islamic State later claimed responsibility for the attack.

The murder stirred up controversies of a "terrorist attack" and was condemned by EU Ambassador to Bangladesh and British High Commissioner, who issued a travel alert to their citizens living in Bangladesh. They claimed militants may be targeting western interests in Bangladesh. Following the incident, United States and Canada warned their citizens of militant attacks in Bangladesh, and asked them to remain alert.

On the other hand, as repercussions of this event, the Bangladesh-Australia cricket series which was supposed to begin today has been postponed as Australian team cancelled their trip to Bangladesh showing security reason.

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