Seven charged in Bangladesh death of Italian aid worker

DHAKA, Bangladesh, June 28 (UPI) — Police charged seven people, five of whom are in custody, in the September 2015 slaying of Italian aid worker Cesare Tavella in Bangladesh.

Tavella, 50, was shot to death in the diplomatic zone of the capital, Dhaka, the first in a series of killings in Bangladesh in which the Islamic State took responsibility.

The government instead has blamed smaller, local extremist groups and the opposing Bangladesh National Party, noting IS does not have a presence in the country.

Police arrested four suspects a month after Tavella’s death, and a fifth about a week later. Among those charged are M.A. Kayum, a local politician and BNP member, and his brother, Matin Kayum. A charge sheet was presented to a Dhaka magistrate court on Monday.

Kayum, the BNP leader, is not in custody.

Although attacks on foreigners remain rare, Islamist violence has recently increased in Bangladesh. More than 40 people — secularist bloggers, gay rights activists, academics and members of minority religions — have been killed since 2013, often in machete attacks in public places.

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