A Christian grocer has been killed in Bangladesh, the latest in a string of violent attacks against minorities that have left more than 40 dead in the last three years.

IS claimed responsibility for the murder through its Amaq news agency, according to US-based SITE monitoring, saying it was “part of a series of operations” in Bangladesh.

Shunil Gomes, 60, was hacked to death in Bonpara village, 200km west of Dhaka, home to one of the oldest Christian communities in Muslim-majority Bangladesh.

Father Bikash Hubert Rebeiro, from the Bonpara Catholic church, told AFP that Gomes, whose brother is a priest, was “known for his humility”.

“He attended Sunday prayers at my church and then went to his grocery store. The next thing we know he was hacked to death. I can’t imagine how anyone can kill such an innocent man,” Rebeiro said.

In May, two people were injured after bomb attacks on a Christian home. In April, a Hindu tailor was hacked to death for allegedly blaspheming against Islam’s prophet. In March, a 65-year-old Muslim convert to Christianity, Hossain Ali, was hacked to death, while in January a 75-year-old pastor, Khaza Somiruddin, was murdered. In 2015, an Italian priest was shot and critically injured in the north – an attack later claimed by IS. Three men also tried to slit the throat of a pastor in Oct. 2015, after they came to him pretending to want to learn about Christianity.

Christians and Hindus account for less than 10 per cent of Bangladesh’s population of 160 million.

Source: The Daily Star