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Bangladesh Officials Arrest Suspect in Killing of LGBT Editor 

Bangladesh Officials Arrest Suspect in Killing of LGBT Editor 

lgbt editor

A man with ties to a militant group was arrested on Sunday. 

Bangladesh police arrested a suspect on Sunday, who is believed to have been involved in the murder of Xulhaz Mannan, 35, an LGBT editor that was killed in April, and his friend, Tonoy Mahbub.

The suspect, Shariful Islan Shihab, 37, was a former member of Harkatul Jihad, a banned Islamic group, reports the Associated Press. The wire service claims that Shihab joined Ansarullah Bangla Team, another militant group, in 2015.

At a press conference, Munirul Islam, the head of a police counterterrorism unit, said that the suspect was captured in the southwestern district of Kushtia, reports AP.

Islam told reporters that Shihab admitted to police that "he took part in stabbing to death Mannan and his friend as ordered by his group's high command." "There was no independent confirmation of the police officer's claim," reported AP. Islam said his department is currently examining video surveillance to confirm whether Shihab is in the footage.

Mannan was the editor of Bangladesh's first and only LGBT magazine. He was also a gay rights activist who worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The journalist was killed by a gang posing as messengers, who then gained access to his apartment, police told U.K. newspaper The Guardian, in April. Shortly after his death, the Islamist militant group Al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for his murder.

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.

Six people entered the building and killed Mannan and a friend of his. Two more were injured in the attack. There has been a series of killings of bloggers and activists in the country, The Guardian reports.

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