Mahmuda Aktar, 33, was brutally murdered on Sunday by suspected Islamist militants while on her way to drop off her son on a school bus in an attack in Bangladesh. Her husband, Babul Aktar, is a prominent police superintendent who has played a key role in cracking down on Islamist militants in the region.
The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack.
"Babul Aktar is an efficient police officer and played a key role in apprehending Islamists," Interior Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said. “They might have killed his wife because they failed to get him."
Babul Aktar had recently closed down several Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen hideouts.
"She was stabbed first. Then they shot her in the head three times," recounted Humayan Kabir, deputy police commissioner of Chittagong, the southern port city where she was murdered, told Reuters.
There have been a string of murders by terrorists over the past three years in Bangladesh, all targeting high-profile secularists, rationalists and opponents of Islamist extremism. The government has failed to act to protect those targeted from murder, fostering a climate of fear in the country.
In April 2016, the editor of the country's first gay rights magazine was murdered along with a police officer. Three days earlier, a university professor was murdered by the Islamic State.
In 2015, Clarion Project interviewed Bangladeshi blogger Monir Hussein who had fled the country after his friend Ananta Bijoy Das was murdered.
In an unrelated attack, Machete-wielding men stabbed and killed Christian businessman Sunil Gomes, 65, near a church in northwestern Notore district. They fled after the murder. ISIS later claimed responsibility for the attack.
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