Ter­ror hits Bangladesh again, this time on Eid

ON ALERT Three peo­ple killed; strike comes days af­ter Dhaka hostage cri­sis

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent ht­metro@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Is­lamist mil­i­tants hurled hand­made bombs and used ma­chetes to at­tack po­lice­men guard­ing Bangladesh’s big­gest Eid prayer ser­vice on Thursday, killing three peo­ple, nearly a week af­ter two dozen hostages were slaugh­tered in the coun­try’s worst ter­ror at­tack.

Thursday’s at­tack oc­curred in Kishore­ganj, about 90 km north of the cap­i­tal of Dhaka, where some 300,000 peo­ple had gath­ered for what is the coun­try’s largest con­gre­ga­tion for Eid, which marks the end of the Mus­lim holy month of Ramzan.

Bangladesh in­for­ma­tion min­is­ter Hasanul Haq Inu said the at­tack­ers tar­geted a po­lice con­voy pa­trolling the re­li­gious gath­er­ing. About nine po­lice con­sta­bles were in­jured. Thursday’s strike was prob­a­bly the first time Is­lamist rad­i­cals have at­tacked Mus­lims on Eid.

At least five mil­i­tants car­ried out the at­tack with small bombs and then set upon po­lice with “sharp weapons”, said chief district ad­min­is­tra­tor, Mo­ham­mad Az­imud­din Biswas.

At least two po­lice­men were killed, one of them stabbed to death. A third fa­tal­ity was a woman - a Hindu – who was hit by a stray bul­let. Two at­tack­ers were killed and three ar­rested, Reuters quoted of­fi­cials as say­ing. It was not im­me­di­ately clear what group they be­longed to. Se­cu­rity per­son­nel at the site of the blast in Kishore­ganj, about 90km north of Dhaka in Bangladesh, where mil­i­tants hurled hand­made bombs and at­tacked po­lice guard­ing the coun­try’s big­gest Eid prayer.

Thursday’s vi­o­lence comes just days af­ter the coun­try suf­fered a deadly hostage cri­sis in which 22 were killed, in­clud­ing 20 cap­tives. It was the worst in a re­cent wave of ex­trem­ist at­tacks in Bangladesh tar­get­ing athe­ists, re­li­gious mi­nori­ties and other so-called en­e­mies of Is­lam.

Although the Is­lamic State claimed credit for the at­tack, the gov­ern­ment has blamed home-grown mil­i­tant groups of wag­ing the vi­o­lence in or­der to cre­ate po­lit­i­cal chaos in the coun­try and un­der­mine the sec­u­lar gov­ern­ment.

In­dia on Thursday de­cided to send to Dhaka a four-mem­ber from the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Guard to “an­a­lyse and study” the at­tacks in the cap­i­tal and Kishore­ganj. The team will have bomb ex­perts.

Po­lice in Kishore­ganj said Thursday’s at­tack was pos­si­bly aimed at a lib­eral cleric who has led a pub­lic cam­paign against Is­lamist rad­i­cal.


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