Miss­ing 261 may have joined mil­i­tants

The Myanmar Times - - World -

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.

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