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Bangladeshi gay rights activist killed in suspected Islamist attack

Gorkha Post

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DHAKA — Suspected Islamist militants have hacked to death a leading gay rights activist and a friend in an apartment in the Bangladeshi capital, police say.

Five or six people went to the apartment of Julhas Mannan, an editor of Bangladesh’s first magazine for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community Roopbaan, and attacked him and a friend with sharp weapons, Dhaka city police spokesman Maruf Hossain Sorder said, quoting witnesses.

The attack came two days after a university professor was killed in similar fashion on Saturday in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group.

Mr Mannan previously worked at the US embassy and its USAID arm.

“We abhor this senseless act of violence and urge the government of Bangladesh in the strongest terms to apprehend the criminals behind these murders,” US ambassador Marcia Bernicat said.

The attackers also injured a security guard, who was undergoing treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

Witnesses said the attackers shouted “Allahu Akbar” as they fled the scene.

The Muslim-majority nation of 160 million people has seen a surge in violent attacks over the past few months in which liberal activists, members of minority Muslim sects and other religious groups have been targeted.

Five secular bloggers and a publisher have been hacked to death in Bangladesh since February last year.

A group affiliated with Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the killing of a liberal Bangladeshi blogger earlier this month.

The Islamic State group has also claimed responsibility for the killings of two foreigners, and attacks on mosques and Christian priests in Bangladesh since September.

The Government has denied that the Islamic State or Al Qaeda groups have a presence in the country and said homegrown Islamist radicals are behind the recent attacks.

Reuters

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NAC aims to bring more tourists

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KATHMANDU — Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) — the national flag carrier which bought two wide-body aircrafts — is exploring new destinations in Europe, North America and South East Asia to bring in more tourists to the country.

The NAC, with the new destinations, expects to increase its business and carry 400,000 tourists on board the NAC planes to Nepal every year.

The NAC’s move is expected to serve largely for the government’s announcement to mark 2020 as Nepal Visit Year.

The NAC is also planning to procure narrow-body planes that would make regional flights while the wide-body planes would fly to the new international destinations.

For the new destinations, the NAC has appointed issue manager.

With the agreement, the NAC planes would make flights to 14 destinations in a week. If things go as planned, the NAC planes would fly to Narita and Tokyo in Japan, easing the tourists visiting Nepal from there.

After getting approval from Japan and South Korea for flights, the inclusion in the significant safety concern list by the EU to Nepal would remove automatically while the flights to South Korea shall open up the golden door for Nepal Airlines.

South Korea is regarded as the safest country in the world in terms of civil aviation. Likewise, the ICAO has already removed Nepal from its blacklist.

Furthermore, the NAC is preparing to operate flights to bring in tourists from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Similarly, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari has directed the NAC for announcing new business plans by targeting the Indian and Chinese tourists, realizing the crucial role of the national flag carrier to make the Nepal Visit Year 2020 a success.

“Top priority has been given to the NAC as it is the major basis to bring in tourists,” Minister Adhikari shared.

Likewise, Minister Adhikari shared that expansion of services and facilities of the Tribhuvan International Airport has been prioritized.

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