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Al-Qaeda Claims Responsibility for Killing LGBT Activist in Bangladesh

Al-Qaeda Claims Responsibility for Killing LGBT Activist in Bangladesh

xulhaz mannan

The terrorist group claims it killed Xulhaz Mannan because he was "working day and night to promote homosexuality."

The Islamist militant group Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility Tuesday for the killing of Xulhaz Mannan, the founder of the country's first and only LGBT publication.

Ansar-al Islam, the Bangladeshi branch of Al-Qaeda, acknowledged its role in the fatal violence in a tweet on Tuesday, calling it "blessed attack" on Mannan and his friend, Tanay Majumder, reports the Associated Press.

The group said it went after the two men because they were "pioneers of practicing and promoting homosexuality in Bangladesh," and were "working day and night to promote homosexuality ... with the help of their masters, the U.S. crusaders and its Indian allies," according to the AP.

No arrests have been made since Monday's killings. The two men were killed by a gang posing as messengers, who then gained access to Mannan's apartment, police told U.K. newspaper The Guardian.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called the murders "barbaric" in a statement, reports AP. The U.S. previously stated it was considering granting refuge to bloggers in Bangladesh because there has been a series of killings of bloggers and activists in the country.

On Monday, State Department spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. was in the process of considering granting refuge to those facing dancer. In a statement, he referred to Mannan as a "beloved member of our embassy family and a courageous advocate" for gay rights, and pledged U.S. support to Bangladeshi authorities "to ensure that the cowards who did this are held accountable."

Mannan founded Roopbaan, the country's only LGBT publication. The magazine launched in 2014 "to promote greater acceptance of LGBT communities in Bangladesh," according to The Guardian.

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