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Fourth secular blogger killed in Bangladesh

Niloy Neel died after he was hacked to death by intruders in his apartment.

By Ed Adamczyk
Fourth secular blogger killed in Bangladesh
A fourth Internet blogger, Niloy Neel, was killed Friday in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Friday. Image by PiXXart/Shutterstock.

DHAKA, Bangladesh, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- A Dhaka, Bangladesh, Internet blogger was killed by suspected Islamist attackers Friday, the fourth such incident this year.

Niloy Neel, who the police identified as Niloy Chakrabati, was hacked to death with machetes by a group of five or six men who visited him in his Dhaka apartment on the pretext of seeking to rent an apartment of their own.

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"Two of them then took him to a room and then slaughtered him there," deputy police commissioner Muntashirul Islam said. "His wife was in the flat but she was confined to another room."

Neel was a proponent of secularism and a progressive agenda in heavily Muslim Bangladesh, and was regarded as a voice of reason on his blog. Like the three victims before him, he identified himself as an atheist; all four were on a list of 84 "atheist bloggers" identified by Muslim groups in 2013 with the hope the government would try them for blasphemy.

"He was the voice against fundamentalism and extremism and was even a voice for minority rights, especially women's rights and the rights of indigenous people," said Imran Sarkar of the Bangladesh Blogger and Activist Network.

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Neel's death follows that of Avijit Roy in February, Washiqur Rahman in March and Anata Bijoy Das in May, each hacked to death in Dhaka after supporting atheism and liberal causes in Internet blogs.

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