Xulhaz Mannan died instantly from injuries sustained in an Al-Qaeda ordered machete attack
BANGLADESH - Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the horrific deaths of two gay activists, one the editor of Roopbaan, the only Bangladeshi LGBT magazine.
Xulhaz Mannan,35, and his friend Mahbub Tony were killed in the capital city of Dhaka when six men from the militant group posed as a parcel delivery service to gain access to their apartment building.
A guard who would not let the disguised men pass was severely injured when the gang rushed the gates and entered the complex, according to Gay Star News.
It was about 5 pm when the crew overtook the guard and made their way to Mannan and Tony’s first floor apartment. There, they produced machetes and began to attack the two. It is reported that the two men died instantly from their wounds.
"They attacked Mr Mannan and his friend in the living room and then inside their bedroom. Most of their wounds were on their heads," the sub-inspector said.
A Twitter account allegedly belonging to Ansar Al Islam, an insurgent Sunni group, says that they dispersed the assiassins to kill the men, calling them, “pioneers of practicing and promoting homosexuality in Bangladesh.”
Mannan, the editor of Roopbaan, started the paper in 2014. The name comes from a Bengali folk character who represents love.
Mannan was also the organizer of Bangladesh’s “Rainbow Rally,” an annual protest to bring awareness to LGBT rights. This year the rally was cancelled due to safety concerns and death threats.
The courageous editor talked to The Guardian in 2014 about his country and their attitudes toward the LGBT community.
“In a country where the whole concept of sex and sexuality is a taboo,” he said. “we are learning to navigate our ways by highlighting ‘love’ as the center of all, as a human right that can’t be denied, hoping for better, and may be ‘faster’, acceptance.. some day!"