Italian priest shot, treated at hospital in northern Bangladesh

DHAKA, Bangladesh — Unidentified assailants shot an Italian priest in northern Bangladesh Nov. 18, in the third attack on foreigners since late September.

Father Parolari Piero, 64, of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, was shot several times by three attackers in Dinajpur as he was riding a bicycle. He was treated at a local hospital for injuries to the neck and head, reported Doctors said he might be sent to the capital, Dhaka, for further treatment.

Bangladeshi security officials in Dhaka stand close to the spot where Tavella Cesare, an Italian aid worker, was killed Sept. 28, the previous day. Unknown assailants also shot an Italian priest in northern Bangladesh Nov. 18 . (CNS photo | Stringer, EPA)

Father Piero, a doctor, has lived and worked in Dinajpur for more than 30 years. Currently, he serves at the church-run St. Vincent Hospital and is an assistant parish priest at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church.

“He was on his way to the hospital from his residence when unknown attackers shot him in the back,” said Father Bidya Paul Bormon, a local priest who lives in the same town.

Bishop Sebastian Tudu of Dinajpur criticized the situation.

“There are a good number of foreign missionaries working in Dinajpur, and the government has been providing police security for them in the churches. Yet, this priest was shot and injured,” said Bishop Tudu.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the shooting.

On Sept. 28, Italian aid worker Cesare Tavella was murdered in Dhaka, and a Japanese man was shot dead Oct. 3 in northern Rangpur district.

In both of these cases, the Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the killings, according to the British-based Site Intelligence Group, which monitors global jihadist activities online. However, Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan has dismissed the alleged Islamic State link to either killing.