Terror hits Bangladesh again, this time on Eid
ON ALERT Three people killed; strike comes days after Dhaka hostage crisis
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.