DHAKA: Unidentified attackers shot dead a Sufi leader and his maid in a remote northern Bangladesh town late Monday, police said, the latest attack targeting religious minorities in the Muslim-majority country.

Police said Farhad Hossain Chowdhury, 55, and his young female maid were found in a pool of blood at his home at Bochaganj, around 350 kilometres (217 miles) north of Dhaka.

"They were shot dead by unidentified attackers at around 8 pm," local police chief Arju Mohammad told AFP by phone.

He said Chowdhury was a Pir, meaning a Sufi Muslim leader, with several hundred disciples in the rural town.

No one claimed the killings but Islamist extremist groups have in recent years murdered scores of religious minorities and foreigners including more than a dozen Sufi Muslims.

The Islamic State organisation has claimed responsibility for some of the attacks as they think Sufis are shrine worshippers and deviants.

The government of Prime Minister Shaikh Hasina and police have rejected the claims. Instead they blame homegrown jihadists for most of the attacks and killings.