DHAKA, Sept 29, (RTRS): Western embassies in Bangladesh have restricted their diplomats’ movements amid concern more foreigners would be targeted after an Italian was shot dead in the first attack in the country claimed by Islamic State. Some international schools and clubs in Dhaka were closed on Tuesday and police tightened security, stopping motorists and checking papers in areas frequented by expatriates. Police have not confirmed the involvement of the hardline Islamist group, which has ambitions to spread into South Asia.
Police in the Bangladeshi capital arrested two suspected recruiters for Islamic State this year. Attacks on foreigners are rare in Bangladesh, despite a rising tide of Islamist violence over the past year that has seen four online critics of religious militancy hacked to death, among them a US citizen of Bangladesh origin. If confirmed as the work of Islamic State, the shooting of Cesare Travella, a 50-year-old aid worker, would be the first attack in Bangladesh by the group based in Iraq and Syria. In a communique translated by US security analysts SITE, Islamic State said a “security detachment” had tracked Tavella before shooting him with “silenced weapons” on Monday. Tavella, who arrived in Bangladesh in May to run a food security project for the Dutch development group ICCO backed by Christian churches, had more than 20 years experience in rural development, mostly in Asia. He was shot in Dhaka’s diplomatic quarter by three gunmen on a motorcycle.