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Islamic State Claims Second Fatal Shooting of Foreigner in Bangladesh

A 66-year-old Japanese man was shot to death by three masked assailants on motorcycles, the second such killing in the country in just five days.
Photo by Ripon Islam/AP

The so-called Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the fatal shooting of a Japanese man in Bangladesh on Saturday, the second time a foreign national has been killed in the country in just five days.

Kunio Hoshi, 66, was traveling in a rickshaw when he was attacked by three masked assailants riding motorcycles in Rangpur district. The area is located about 200 miles north of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, where Italian aid worker Cesare Tavella was killed in a similar fashion on Monday.

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Tavella's murder was also carried out by three masked men on motorcycles. IS claimed responsibility for his death, the first time the group has taken credit for an attack in Bangladesh.

Related: Islamic State Claims Responsibility for Killing of Italian Aid Worker in Bangladesh

IS warned on Saturday that it would continue to target foreigners in the country. "There will continue to be a series of ongoing security operations against nationals of crusader coalition countries, they will not have safety or a livelihood in Muslim lands," the group tweeted.

Hoshi was reportedly born in Bangladesh, but grew up in Japan. Bangladesh's Daily Star reported that he returned to his birth country four months ago and was growing Napier grass (a strain that is typically cultivated for animal grazing) on two acres of leased land outside of Rangpur city.

Police have detained four people in connection with his murder, including the rickshaw puller and the owner of the house where Hoshi rented a room.

"We take both the killings seriously and hopefully will be able to identify the killers along with their motives," Home Minister Asaduzzaman Asaduzzaman told Reuters.

The killings of foreign citizens, he added, "are aimed only at bringing down the image of our success and achievements inside and outside the country."

The Japanese embassy in Bangladesh issued an alert to citizens in the country, encouraging them "to exercise a maximum level of vigilance."

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US Ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Bernicat said in a statement that she was saddened by the latest killing.

"I urge the government of Bangladesh to investigate every aspect of this crime and to bring the perpetrators to justice as soon as possible," she said.

Bangladesh's Inspector General of Police AKM Shahidul Hoque said security will be increased at the homes and workplaces of foreign diplomats and foreign nationals in the coming days.

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Reuters contributed to this report