Islamic State has claimed the responsibility for shooting and injuring an Italian priest-doctor in Bangladesh.

Three gunmen on a motorbike shot Piero Parolari, who works at the Suihari Catholic Mission in Dinajpur, on Wednesday. According to another priest Anthony Sen, Parolari has been based in the city for the last 30 years.

“The Islamic State (IS) claimed three attacks in Bangladesh including the assassination attempt on Italian priest Piero Parolari,” SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors ISIS, reports. “#ISIS claimed 3 attacks in #Bangladesh including the assassination attempt on Italian priest Piero Parolari,” Rita Katz, the director of SITE, tweeted with an image of the priest.

ISIS earlier claimed the responsibility for killing a Japanese farmer in October and an Italian faith-based aid worker in September.

While ISIS claims the responsibility, Bangladesh police are still clueless who is behind the shooting which happened around 350 kilometres from the national capital. Bangladesh authorities dismiss the active presence of ISIS militants in the country.

“Unless we can find out who has actually executed the operation, we can’t say who or which group was behind the attack,” Dinajpur police chief Ruhul Amin told AFP.

He, however, admitted that the attack on the Italian priest was similar to earlier attacks on foreigners.

According to SITE, ISIS claimed responsibility for two more attacks in Bangladesh. A Baha’i community leader was shot and a Sufi Muslim shrine chief was killed in Rangpur. Police authorities, on the contrary, claim that “internal disputes” are behind the deaths of Sufi and Baha’i leaders.

The Bangladesh government blames local opposition political parties and says there is no presence of ISIS in the country, The Guardian reports. According to Western intelligence, ISIS is gradually getting stronger in Bangladesh.

A banned hard-line militant group believed to be linked to al-Qaida earlier claimed responsibility for a series of murders of secular bloggers and publishers of secular books.

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