A university professor on his way to work in northwestern Bangladesh was hacked to death Saturday in an attack similar to other killings by suspected Muslim militants, the AP reports. A.F.M. Rezaul Karim Siddique was on his way to the state-run university in Rajshahi, where he taught English, police say. The attackers used sharp weapons and immediately fled. The attack was similar to recent killings of atheist bloggers in Muslim-majority Bangladesh by radical Islamists. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, accusing Siddique of calling for atheism, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi websites. No other details were available. ISIS has claimed responsibility for other attacks in Bangladesh, but the government has dismissed those claims, saying the Sunni extremist group has no presence in Bangladesh.
At least three other professors at Rajshahi University have been killed in recent years, allegedly by Islamist groups. Sajidul Karim Siddique, a brother of the victim of Saturday's attack, said the professor was a "very quiet and simple man" who was focused on studying and teaching. He led a cultural group and used to edit a literary magazine. "So far as we know, he did not have any known enemies and we never found him worried," the brother said. "We don't know why it happened to him." The government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been cracking down on militant groups, which it blames for deadly attacks in the past year on secular bloggers, minority Shiites, Christians, and two foreigners. Amnesty International condemned the killing and said those responsible must be brought to justice. (Read more Bangladesh stories.)