fb-pixel Skip to main content

Publishers stabbed in Dhaka attacks

Violence rising in Bangladesh

Bangladeshi security officers stood guard at the entrance to a hospital ward where publisher Ahmed Rahim Tutul and two writers were being treated.A.M. Ahad/AP

NEW DELHI — Two businessmen who had published the works of Avijit Roy, a Bangladeshi-American known for his critical writings on religious extremism, were stabbed Saturday by groups of men in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, police said. The attack came eight months after Roy was stabbed to death with machetes.

One of the publishers, Faisal Arefin, died of his wounds immediately, police said. The other, Ahmed Rahim Tutul, remained in critical condition late Saturday.

The attacks build on an already unsettling rise in extremist violence in Bangladesh this year. Roy's killing was followed by three more nearly identical assassinations of bloggers and intellectuals who have criticized fundamentalist Islam.


Around 3 p.m. Saturday, a group of men entered the Shuddhashar publishing house, saying they wanted to buy books, said Biplob Kumar Sarker, the deputy police commissioner in Dhaka. They then held two men at gunpoint while other assailants attacked the publisher, Tutul, and two men who were in his office, Sarker said. The assailants locked the doors from the outside when they left the premises, and the police, after breaking the locks, said they had found all three men on the floor with severe stab wounds.

About three hours later, three men entered the offices of Jagriti Publications, where they found Arefin alone and stabbed him, leaving him with fatal neck wounds, a Shahbag police spokesman said.