September 28, 2015 / 4:48 PM / 2 years ago

Italian man shot dead in Bangladesh capital

DHAKA (Reuters) - An Italian citizen was shot dead by unidentified assailants in the Bangladeshi capital on Monday, police said.

Cesare Tavella, who was aged around 50 and working at a Netherlands-based non-governmental organization, was gunned down in Dhaka’s diplomatic zone while on his evening walk, said Muntasirul Islam, spokesman for Dhaka Metropolitan Police.

He was rushed to hospital, where doctors declared him dead, Islam added. No other details were immediately available.

An online statement in the name of the hardline Islamist group Islamic State later claimed responsibility for the attack, saying his attackers followed him and shot him dead.

Police said they were not aware of the claim, which could not be independently verified.

Witnesses said Tavella had been followed before he was killed. “Three men riding on a motorbike shot him and fled,” one witness told reporters.

The government in Bangladesh has been tackling Islamist groups who aim to make the South Asian nation of 160 million people a sharia-based Islamic state.

The Australian cricket team has delayed its planned departure to Bangladesh after being warned by its government that there was a potential security risk from militants.

The touring side were due to fly from Sydney on Monday morning for the three-week tour which includes two test matches.

Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Dominic Evans

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