Bangladesh: Radical Islamists hack to death liberal blogger Nazimuddin Samad

The militants shouted "Allahu akbar" (God is Greatest) as they attacked Samad.

Religious extremist in Bangladesh hacked to death liberal blogger Nazimuddin Samad in the latest attack against people who espouse secular viewpoints.

Samad, a law student, was one of the organisers of secular campaigning group Ganajagran Manch. He was hacked with machetes at a traffic light in capital Dhaka as he was returning from classes.

Four men hacked Samad with machetes before shooting him dead, police said on Thursday.

According to the police, the attackers shouted "Allahu akbar" (God is Greatest) as they attacked Samad.

"As he fell down, one of them shot him with a pistol from close range. He died on the spot," a senior Dhaka police officer told AFP.

Samad was a bold critic of injustice and militancy, his colleagues recalled. "We found him always a loud voice against all injustice and also a great supporter of secularism," Imran H Sarker, convener of the country's largest secular activist group, told Reuters.

"He was against Islamic fundamentalism," Sarkar added.

Samad, a student of Jagannath University, used his Facebook page to propagate secular thoughts. In his Facebook profile he wrote "I have no religion".

A post on his Facebook pages read: "Evolution is a scientific truth. Religion and race are invention of the savage and uncivil people."

Hardline Islamic militant groups, some of them claiming allegiance to the so-called Islamic State (Isis) carried out several brutal executing style killing of liberal thinkers and writes last year.

The Islamist radicals drew up a list of 84 "atheist bloggers" in 2013 and openly said they would be eliminated. Four bloggers who figured in the list were killed last year.

Attacks on religious minorities such as Shia Muslims, Christians, Sufi and Ahmadi Muslims and Hindus have been frequent in the majority Sunni Muslim country.