Kabir, editor of the Bangla-language daily Janmabhumi, was killed in a bomb attack in the southwestern city of Khulna. An unidentified assailant threw two bombs at Kabir outside his home while he was exiting his car with his family, according to local news reports.
Witnesses told the English-language Daily Star that the assailant, posing as a peanut seller, approached Kabir and tossed at least two homemade bombs at him, fatally injuring him in the abdomen and the legs. Kabir was taken to Khulna Medical College Hospital and died soon after. Kabir's son Asif also suffered minor injuries on his legs and was treated at a local clinic.
An underground leftist group known as Janajuddha (People's War), a faction of the Purbo Banglar Communist Party, claimed responsibility for the murder in phone calls to several local newspapers and journalists the day of the murder, according to local journalists.
Kabir, 58, was a veteran journalist and the president of the Khulna Press Club. He published bold articles criticizing the organized crime that plagues Bangladesh's troubled southwestern region. After his friend and fellow journalist Manik Saha was murdered in a similar attack earlier in 2004, Kabir criticized the criminal elements implicated in Saha's killing. Janajuddha also claimed responsibility for Saha's murder. Kabir had recently received death threats, according to local news reports.
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and other high-ranking government officials condemned Kabir's murder and pledged to find and punish those responsible. Local journalist groups spoke out against the killing and called for a week of mourning.
Local police said they detained nine suspects in connection with Kabir's murder, the BBC reported.
Two other suspects in the case, leaders of the Janajuddha faction, died in separate shootouts with police in late August. Authorities accuse the deceased suspects--Altaf Hossain and Imam Sarder--of involvement in Kabir's murder and say they were also responsible for Manik Saha's killing, a veteran reporter from Khulna who also died in a violent attack in January, according to local news reports.