Missing 261 may have joined militants
AT least 261 people across Bangladesh are missing, officials said yesterday, sparking fears many of them have joined home-grown Islamist extremist outfits or the Islamic State (IS) group in the Middle East.
The country’s elite security force, the Rapid Action Battalion, published the list on Facebook around midnight and called on citizens to report the whereabouts of the missing.
“We have to find them,” RAB spokesperson Mufti Mahmud Khan said in the capital.
The government ordered security officials to collate the list in the wake of two major terror attacks by suspected Islamist militants who had been missing for months.
Mr Mufti refused to comment on whether the people listed had joined local extremists or the IS.
Suspected members of a homegrown terror group murdered 20 people, including 18 foreigners after they attacked an upscale cafe here earlier this month. The IS group later claimed responsibility for the attack – an assertion rejected by Bangladeshi authorities.
The gruesome murders were followed by another daring assault on the Muslim-majority nation’s largest Eid prayer congregation in which three people and an attacker were killed in a massive gunfight in a northern town.