Suspected Maoist rebels kill two villagers, 5 injured in Bangladesh

Suspected Maoist rebels killed two villagers in eastern Bangladesh in attacks that followed the recent arrest and fatal shooting of one of the rebel group's leaders, a police official said Friday.

Nobody claimed responsibility for the attack late Thursday, but local police official Ashrafuzzaman told The Associated Press by phone that authorities blamed the outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party for the incident.

The suspects threw at least three bombs at a shop at Jiban Nagar in Chudanga district, about 150 kilometers (95 miles) east of the capital, Dhaka, killing a farmer and injuring five others including a police officer who the rebels believe was involved in their leader's arrest, he said.

About five minutes later, they shot an elderly woman a few meters (yards) away, killing her instantly, the police official said.

Ashrafuzzaman said police detained 13 people for questioning in the attack.

The shooting was apparently in retaliation for the arrest last month of the group's regional leader, Nurul Alam Mizan, who was later killed in shootout with police, the official said.

Police said the shootout occurred when Mizan's supporters attacked police as he led officers to an arms cache.

The rebels, who have been campaigning for years to establish communism in the region, have little popular support in the Muslim-majority nation of 140 million people.

Police said they extort money from wealthy villagers to support their campaign, reports the AP.

I.L.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team