Ahmadi cleric critical after cleaver attack in Bangladesh

DHAKA – Three men stormed a mosque in Bangladesh and attacked a cleric from the Ahmadi minority Muslim community with cleavers, leaving him critically injured, police said on Tuesday.

The men attacked the mosque in the remote village of Khanpur in northern Bangladesh on Monday shortly after the evening call for prayer and set upon Mustafizur Rahman, district police chief Syed Nurul Islam told AFP.

“He was hacked at least four times including in his neck and near the back of his stomach. The cut in the neck was very deep,” he said, adding the 32-year-old was in hospital in Dhaka and in a critical condition.

Villagers caught and beat one of the men. But police said it was not clear whether those responsible belonged to the Islamist extremist groups behind a wave of attacks on religious minorities and foreigners in mainly Sunni Muslim Bangladesh.

Last year a suicide blast by a suspected Islamist extremist at an Ahmadi mosque in the northwestern town of Bagmara wounded three people.

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