(From AP)

The United States Thursday condemned as “barbaric” the latest killing in Bangladesh of an outspoken opponent of radical Islam and said it is considering granting refuge to a select number of bloggers who face imminent danger.

Students of Jagannath University block a road in front of the campus protesting the killing of law student and online activist Nazimuddin Samad

Assailants hacked and shot to death 28-year-old law student Nazimuddin Samad on Wednesday night on a street in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka. The unidentified attackers shouted “Allahu Akbar,” or “Allah is great,” and escaped by motorcycle.

At least five secular bloggers and publishers were killed in similar attacks last year. That has heightened concern that religious extremists are getting a foothold in Bangladesh, a Muslim country with traditions of secularism and tolerance, and that authorities are failing to provide protection.

In December, U.S.-based human rights groups urged the U.S. to offer “humanitarian parole” for Bangladeshi writers targeted by extremists for their secular beliefs.

Karin Deutsch Karlekar of PEN America reiterated that call to the U.S. and other countries Thursday, saying that Samad’s killing “is a cruel illustration of the costs of inaction.” Read More

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