Suspected militants in Bangladesh hacked an elderly Hindu priest to death on Tuesday, in what police suspected was the latest in a spate of attacks by Islamists on members of minority groups in the majority-Muslim country.

Three attackers riding on a motorcycle killed Ananta Gopal Ganguly, 70, when he was on his way to the temple he served in Jhenaidah district, about 100 miles (161 km) west of Dhaka, the capital, police said.

The attack bore the hallmarks of previous killings by Islamist militants, police official Hasan Hafizur Rahman told Reuters by telephone from the scene of the attack.

"They slit his throat so he died instantly,” Rahman said.

The attack came just a day after the government banned more than one person riding pillion on a motorcycle after the wife of a prominent anti-terror security official was shot dead by three suspected militants on a motorbike on Sunday.

Also on Sunday, machete-wielding assailants killed a Christian grocer in a separate incident.

Bangladesh has not seen the sort of Islamist violence that has rocked Muslim Pakistan, or even the number of attacks that India has seen over the past decade or so.

But since February last year, militants in Bangladesh have killed more than 30 people, including members of religious minorities, liberal bloggers and academics.

Hindus make up about 9 percent of Bangladesh's 160 million people.