Po­lice kill sus­pected Dhaka mas­sacre mas­ter­mind

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Dhaka: A Cana­dian man sus­pected of hav­ing planned a July at­tack on a bak­ery in Dhaka that left 22 peo­ple dead was killed in a shootout with the Bangladeshi Po­lice on Satur­day, of­fi­cials said. The man, Tamim Ahmed Chowd­hury, a 30-year-old Cana­dian cit­i­zen of Bangladeshi descent, was one of three militants killed in the raid out­side Dhaka, the cap­i­tal, the of­fi­cials said. The Bangladeshi au­thor­i­ties have said Mr Chowd­hury planned the July 1 as­sault on the Ho­ley Ar­ti­san Bak­ery, a restau­rant pop­u­lar with ex­pa­tri­ates and mid­dle-class Bangladeshis. Some an­a­lysts be­lieve Mr Chowd­hury acted as a co-or­di­na­tor for the Is­lamic State mil­i­tant group in Bangladesh and north­east­ern In­dia. The Is­lamic State has claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for sev­eral re­cent at­tacks in Bangladesh, in­clud­ing the as­sault on the bak­ery. The Bangladeshi Po­lice, how­ever, iden­ti­fied Mr Chowd­hury as the leader of a new branch of a do­mes­tic ter­ror­ist group, the Jama’atul Mu­ja­hedeen Bangladesh, and the gov­ern­ment ini­tially de­nied that the bak­ery at­tack had been car­ried out by mem­bers of for­eign groups.

Later, of­fi­cials ac­knowl­edged that the at­tack­ers might have had links to such groups, in­clud­ing the Is­lamic State. The shootout on Satur­day morn­ing took place at a three-story house in the Narayan­ganj dis­trict near Dhaka, af­ter the Po­lice re­ceived a tip that the militants were hid­ing there, said AKM Kam­rul Ah­san, a spokesman. They were given a chance to sur­ren­der but at­tacked the Po­lice with guns and grenades, at which point the Po­lice opened fire, said a Po­lice of­fi­cial, In­spec­tor Gen­eral AKM Shahidul Hoque, in tele­vised com­ments to re­porters on Satur­day. Both of­fi­cials said Mr Chowd­hury was among the militants killed. The Po­lice had of­fered cash boun­ties of about $25,000 this month for in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to the ar­rest of Mr. Chowd­hury and for an­other mil­i­tant, Syed Mo­ham­mad Zi­aul Haque, who was sus­pected of be­ing in­volved in re­cent killings of sec­u­lar writ­ers. Mr. Chowd­hury’s name was on a list of 10 high-value sus­pects re­leased by the Bangladeshi au­thor­i­ties last month af­ter the Ho­ley Ar­ti­san Bak­ery at­tack, an 11-hour siege car­ried out by five militants who were even­tu­ally killed by sol­diers.

Dhaka Po­lice SWAT team re­turn­ing af­ter the raid.

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