Bangladeshi secular bloggers should "control" their writings, the country's home minister said on Sunday even as he asserted that home-grown militants and not the Bangladeshi branch of al Qaeda are responsible for the grisly murder of a 26-year-old secular blogger.

Bangladeshi Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan's statement came days after Ansar al-Islam, the Bangladeshi division of al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, claimed responsibility for the killing of blogger Nazimuddin Samad last week.

Samad's death marks the sixth time a Bangladeshi writer of atheist material has been killed in 14 months.

File photo of Bangladeshi Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan | Source: Twitter

Khan said the issue is not freedom of expression but tolerance of other religions. "The bloggers, they should control their writing," he told CNN.

"Our country is a secular state. ... I want to say that people should be careful not to hurt anyone by writing anything -- hurt any religion, any people's beliefs, any religious leaders," Khan said.

He said that home-grown militants and not the Bangladeshi branch of al Qaeda are responsible for Samad's murder.

Samad, a graduate student, was on his way home from evening classes on April 6, when three to four people circled him.

Activist protest rally over the murder of activist Nazimuddin Samad in Dhaka, Bangladesh on April 07, 2016 | Twitter

"First the attackers hacked Samad with machetes, then shot him," Dhaka Senior Assistant Police Commissioner Nurul Amin had said. Police said the attackers then fled the scene on motorcycles.

No arrests have been made.

(Feature image source: Twitter)