A Bangladeshi pastor has survived an attempt on his life by three men who came to his home pretending to want to learn about Christianity, police and the victim said, agencies report.

The scene where Japanese worker Kunio Hoshi was killed at Mahiganj village

Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for last week’s attacks, one on a Japanese agricultural worker and another on an Italian worker. The IS claim has been disputed by Bangladesh’s government, which blamed the opposition for trying to destabilise the country.

In the latest attack, the pastor, Luke Sarker, 52, suffered minor injuries on Monday when three men aged 25-30 attacked him with a knife at his home in the north-western district of Pabna, said the area’s senior police official, Siddikur Rahman.

Sarker, the pastor of Faith Bible church, said the men who attacked him had called him about two weeks ago saying they wanted to visit him to learn about Christianity. After they arrived at his home Monday, they attacked him with a knife and tried to slit his throat, Sarker said. But as he shouted, his wife came to his rescue and the men fled. Police later recovered a motorbike from outside his home.

Rahman said police had no clues yet about the identities of the three men but suspect they could be members of a fundamentalist group.

Meanwhile, Rangpur court placed local BNP activist Rashed-un-Nabi Khan Biplob and Humayun Kabir Hira on a 10-day remand over Japanese national Hoshi Kunio’s murder case.

The authorities have issued the ‘highest alert’ on the Benapole border in Jessore to stop killers of the two foreigners from escaping the country.

JuM leader killed in blast

The leader of the military wing of a banned Islamist militant group was killed when a grenade exploded while he was in police custody early  Tuesday, hours after he was arrested in possession of weapons, police said.

Mohammad Javed, the 26-year-old chief of the military wing of Jamaat-ul Mujahideen (JuM), was arrested Monday night along with four other members of the group in the port city of Chittagong.

Senior police official Babul Akter said Javed was killed while he was helping police recover more weapons in Chittagong.

“The grenade exploded when the team was trying to recover it from a drain,” Akter said.

Two policemen suffered minor wounds.

Police said nine hand grenades, 120 rounds of ammunition, pistols, knives and a large quantity of bomb-making materials were seized in Monday’s raid.

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