A Japanese national has been shot dead in Bangladesh's northern district of Rangpur within six days of an identical murder of an Italian aid worker in Dhaka.
Masked assailants on a motorcycle fired at Hosi Koniyo in Kawnia Upazila, Rangpur’s Superintendent of Police (SP) Abdur Razzak told bdnews24.com.
Police said he was shot thrice around 11am on Saturday at the Upazila’s Alutari when on way to a farm in the area.
He knew two brothers living in Japan, whose family lived in Rangpur and had helped Koniyo set up the farm.
“Assailants on a motorcycle fired at Koniyo. He was shot in the chest, shoulder and hand,” said Kawnia Police OC Rezaul Karim.
Italian national Cesare Tavella was also killed similarly by motorcycle-riding men at Dhaka’s Guslhan on Sep 28, according to police and witnesses.
The Italian aid worker’s killing happened after an alert issued to its citizens by the UK and Australia advised caution, limit movements and avoid public places.
The US also issued an alert after the Italian aid worker’s murder. Police are yet to arrest anyone over Tavella’s killing.
Meanwhile, police have taken two people in custody for questioning over Saturday’s killing in Rangpur.
They are Murad Hossain, who lives in a house near the spot of the murder and rickshaw puller Munnaf Ali.
Rangpur SP Abdur Razzak told reporters that Koniyo came to Bangladesh in May this year. He leased a piece of land in Alurtila village and ran a farm.
The Japanese national lived in a rented house in Rangpur town.
His landlord is one ‘Zakaria’, whose two brothers live in Japan, he said.
The family is Koniyo’s contact in Bangladesh. It is through them he leased land in Alurtari Village, according to the police official.
Koniyo used to go to the farm from his home in Rangpur town every day by the rickshaw of Munnaf Ali, said SP Razzak.
“Like every other day, Koniyo was heading to his farm by rickshaw, when three masked assailants shot him before fleeing on a motorcycle parked beside the road.
“Murad came out from his house nearby and rushed Koniyo to the hospital, but he died on the way,” he said quoting rickshaw puller Ali.
SP Razzak said that the Ali informed one ‘Hira’ used to come with Koniyo every day, but he was not with the Japanese national on Saturday.
Police have recovered Koniyo’s passport, which had a Bangladesh visa valid until May, 2016.
“Koniyo entered Bangladesh with a multiple-entry visa,” Rangpur’s Additional SP Zainul Abedin told bdnews24.com.