Sunday, November 28, 2021

Bangladesh sci-fi writer stabbed in head at seminar

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DHAKA: One of Bangladesh’s top writers was stabbed in the back of the head during a seminar in the northern city of Sylhet on Saturday, police said, the latest in a series of attacks on authors and bloggers.

Police said Zafar Iqbal, a bestselling science fiction writer, was rushed to hospital in Sylhet after the attack.

“He was hit on the back of his head and he was bleeding,” a police constable posted at the hospital told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Abdul Wahab, a spokesman for the Sylhet city police, confirmed the incident, saying police suspect he was attacked with a knife.

“He was in a seminar when he was stabbed on the back of his head. His gunman caught an attacker,” he told AFP, referring to Iqbal’s police guard.

Police do not know how many people were involved in the attack nor whether they belonged to any Islamist extremist groups, he said.

“He has been taken to the operating theatre,” he said, adding he would be flown to a military hospital in Dhaka for better treatment.

Iqbal, who teaches at a state-run university in Sylhet and is also a top selling author and celebrity speaker who regularly appears at university campuses nationwide.

The attack was swiftly condemned by protesters in Dhaka and Sylhet.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also strongly condemned the attack and ordered security forces to track down the culprits, her press secretary Ihsanul Karim said.

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