Suicide Bomber Strikes at Ahmadi Mosque in Bangladesh

Suicide Bomber Strikes at Ahmadi Mosque in Bangladesh
(Saturday, December 26, 2015) 14:53

DHAKA, Bangladesh — A suicide bomber detonated an explosives belt during the Friday Prayer at a mosque in a remote northern village in Bangladesh, witnesses and officials said, wounding three members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a tiny religious minority.

 Saiful Islam, president of the Ahmadiyya community in the village of Mochmoli, said the bomber was the only person killed. The Ahmadiyya, also known as Ahmadis, are members of a Muslim sect considered heretical by many conservative Muslims and are frequent targets of persecution.

 Abdullah al-Mahmud, deputy police inspector general for the Rajshahi District, which includes Mochmoli, said the identity and motive of the bomber were unknown. But he said, “This is a rare incident for Bangladesh.”

About 70 people were praying in the mosque at the time, said one worshiper, Mohammad Shaheb Ali Talukder, who was one of the wounded.

 tered the mosque, “he first stood along with the people in the back and performed prayers on his own, but shortly after he came forward and stood besides me,” said Mr. Talukder, speaking by phone from a hospital in the city of Rajshahi.

 Suddenly I saw him put his hand inside a pocket in his clothes and a bomb exploded,” Mr. Talukder said. The Ahmadis have about 100,000 followers in Bangladesh, which is 90 percent Sunni Muslim. Ahmad Tabshir Choudhury, external affairs secretary for the Ahmadiyya community in Bangladesh, said that in the past, some fundamentalist groups have demanded that the Ahmadis be declared non-Muslims. They have also threatened the Ahmadis, attacked their mosques and prevented them from holding programs in public places, he said. Mr. Choudhury said the last bombing at an Ahmadi mosque was in 1999, in the southwestern Khulna District. Seven people were killed.


Correction: December 25, 2015


Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to the attack on an Ahmadi mosque in 1999. It was a bombing, but not a suicide bombing.

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