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2 Arrested In Bangladesh Blogger Killing

Niloy Neel was attacked at his home in the capital city, Dhaka. He is the fourth blogger to be murdered in Bangladesh this year, the BBC reported.

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Blogger and activist Niloy Neel, also known as Niloy Chakrabarti, was murdered August 7 at his apartment in Dhaka by a gang of machete-wielding assailants.

Breaking news: Niloy Neel becomes the fourth Bangladeshi humanist blogger murdered in 2015. http://t.co/ZyeQwtiDiF

Police on Friday said that two suspects had been arrested for Neel's murder, the AP reported.

The two men were identified as Saad-al-Nahin and Masud Rana, both were picked up on Thursday night, Dhaka Metropolitan Police spokesman Muntasirul Islam told the AP. The suspects were members of the Ansarullah Bangla Team, the same group that's believed to be responsible for attacks on other bloggers.

Police said that Neel was killed by five people in his fourth-floor apartment in North Gorhan around 1:45 p.m., according to BDNews24.com, an online newspaper in Bangladesh. It is believed that the group entered the building by posing as potential renters.

Neel was an activist "demanding a ban on Islamist parties and the maximum punishment for 1971 war crimes," a spokesperson for his group, Imran Sarker, told BDNews.

"He was the voice against fundamentalism and extremism and was even a voice for minority rights – especially women's rights and the rights of indigenous people," Sarker told the BBC.

The Dhaka Tribune reported that Neel used his Facebook page as a platform to "write against militant activities, war criminals and Jamaat-e-islam [an Islamist political party], on women and children rights and other social issues."

Neel is the fourth blogger to be murdered in Bangladesh this year.

Back in May, Ananta Bijoy Das, a Bangladeshi blogger who advocated secularism, was killed. Das, who wrote for "Mukto Mona," — or "Free Mind" — a website opposed to fundamentalism, was murdered on his way to work.

Washiqur Rahman, a 27-year-old atheist who posted articles denouncing extremism on Facebook, was killed in March. In February, U.S.-based blogger Avijit Roy was killed when he left a book fair in Dhaka.

According to the BBC, all four men were on a list of "atheist bloggers" compiled in 2013 by Islamic groups. That list was sent to the government with the intent to have the bloggers "arrested and tried for blasphemy."

Jessica Simeone is a news assignment editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Jessica Simeone at jessica.simeone@buzzfeed.com.

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