Islamic State Responsible for Bomb Attacks Aimed at Shia in Bangladesh

Islamic State Responsible for Bomb Attacks Aimed at Shia in Bangladesh

The Islamic State continues to be on the move and fomenting more violence as they set off a string of bombs in Bangladesh aimed at killing Shia Muslims.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombing of a procession held early on Saturday morning in the Bangladesh capital city of Dhaka. At least one person was killed with many dozens wounded when a trio of bombs went off during a holiday procession being held by Shia Muslims in honor of their Ashura holiday.

The Islamic State took immediate and public responsibility for the bombings. This is the third time within a month that the Islamic State has been bent on murder, according to The New York Times. Earlier, they had taken credit for the murders of a Japanese and Italian in Bangladesh. The Islamic State statement about the attack simply stated that the organization successfully bombed a Shia procession “during the holding of their polytheist rituals.”

The Ashura holiday has been celebrated here for well over 400 years. Each year, hundreds of Sunni and Shia Muslims walk in reverence through the old city streets of Dhaka. The Shia are an extreme minority in Bangladesh and, prior to Saturday morning’s bombing, there has never been and violence between them and the Sunni’s.

Many Shia expressed concern and fear that Shia Muslims are being targeted everywhere. Many note that the attacks began in Pakistan and have since moved on to Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere. While Bangladesh has been relatively peaceful for many years, attacks on those who have spoken out against fundamentalist Islam have been regularly attacked and murdered.

Bangladesh authorities are not that certain that it was the Islamic State that carried out the bombings. A banned radical organization in Bangladesh seems the more likely culprit to them. The Bangladeshi government even stated publicly that they have no evidence of the Islamic State even being in the country.

The bombs went off every fifteen seconds and there was an estimated crowd of 40,000 lining the streets in celebration of the Ashura procession. The bombs incited complete and utter panic as the massive crowd began fleeing and creating mass chaos in the process.