Bangladesh: Nine Injured in Attack on Hindu Temple

Police stand guard outside the Westin Hotel in Dhaka, Bangladesh on November 17. REUTERS/Ashikur Rahman

DHAKA (Reuters) - Two people suffered gunshot wounds and seven others less serious injuries in a bomb and gun attack on Thursday at a Hindu temple in northern Bangladesh, a senior police official said.

Humayun Kabir, deputy inspector general of police for the northern region, told Reuters that three unknown attackers had arrived at the temple in Dinajpur district, 415 km (260 miles) north of the capital Dhaka, by motorbike.

They detonated several homemade bombs and then shot at people who were fleeing the building in panic, he said. About one hundred people were gathered in the temple.

Two people with gunshot wounds were taken to hospital.

Kabir said two people had been detained following the incident, which he said was similar in nature to a bomb attack on Saturday on a Hindu religious gathering in the same area in which at least six people were injured, three critically.

Police suspect banned militant group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) may be behind the attacks, Kabir said.

Muslim-majority Bangladesh has suffered a rising tide of Islamist violence over the past year although attacks on Hindu religious gatherings remain rare.

Four online critics of religious militancy have been hacked to death, among them a U.S. citizen of Bangladeshi origin.

In October, an Italian doctor working as a missionary was shot and wounded in the same area as Thursday's attack, which had earlier seen an Italian and a Japanese citizen die in separate attacks claimed by Islamic State.