ISIS claims deadly attack on Shiite mosque in Bangladesh

Blood stains are seen on the floor of a Shiite mosque after a shooting in Shibganj, northern Bangladesh, some 125 km from the capital Dhaka. (AFP)

ISIS has claimed responsibility on Friday for a deadly attack on worshippers at a Shiite mosque in northern Bangladesh, as fears grow of a rise in sectarian violence in the mainly Muslim country.

U.S.-based monitoring organization SITE reported the group, which has claimed responsibility for a number of recent attacks in Bangladesh, said it had targeted the Shiite worshippers.

Gunmen burst into the mosque in Shibganj, 200 miles (125 kilometres) north of Dhaka, during early evening prayers on Thursday and opened fire on the gathered worshippers before fleeing.

"Allah enabled the soldiers of the Islamic State in Bangladesh to target a Rafidah Mushrikin temple (Shiite Mosque)," SITE, which monitors jihadist activity, quoted ISIS as saying.

Police said the muezzin had been killed and three worshippers wounded in the shooting, a rare attack on minority Shiite Muslims in the mainly Sunni nation.

Detectives say they are questioning two people over the shooting, although they had not been formally arrested. Television footage showed the heavily guarded Shiite mosque with broken windows and blood stains on the floor.

There are estimated to be around 2.2 million Shiite Muslims in Bangladesh, an officially secular but mainly Muslim country of 160 million.


Last Update: 10:57 KSA 13:57 - GMT 10:57