Islamic State claims attack on Italian missionary in Bangladesh

An Italian priest sits wounded in a hospital after being shot in Dinajpur, some 350 kilometres (220 miles) north of Dhaka, on November 18, 2015.

CAIRO - Islamic State claimed responsibility on Thursday for the shooting of an Italian missionary in Bangladesh, the fifth attack in recent months the militants said they had carried out in the country.

Islamic State members shot Piero Parolari, a doctor, with a gun and silencer, the group's Bangladesh affiliate said in an Arabic-language statement on a website it uses. The statement also said the group had attacked a member of the Bahai religious community and murdered a politician it identified as Rahma Ali.

Parolari was shot and wounded in the neck in an attack by three assailants in northern Bangladesh on Wednesday, police and a medics said. The attack occurred in Dinajpur district, around 400 km (250 miles) north of the capital, Dhaka.

The attack follows the murder in Bangladesh of another Italian aid worker in late September and a Japanese citizen in early October. Both were also claimed by Islamic State.

Muslim-majority Bangladesh has suffered a rising tide of Islamist violence over the past year. Four online critics of religious militancy have been hacked to death, among them a US citizen of Bangladesh origin.