9 ex­trem­ists shot dead in gun­fight

The Myanmar Times - - World -

BANGLADESHI po­lice stormed a mil­i­tant hide­out in a neigh­bour­hood in Dhaka and killed nine sus­pected Is­lamist ex­trem­ists af­ter a gun bat­tle yes­ter­day, of­fi­cials said.

Po­lice said they be­longed to a Bangladeshi group blamed for an at­tack on a Dhaka cafe ear­lier this month in which 20 hostages, mostly for­eign­ers, were killed and had been plan­ning another large-scale as­sault.

“Nine Is­lamist mil­i­tants were killed af­ter two hour-long gun­fight,” deputy com­mis­sioner of Dhaka Metropoli­tan Po­lice Ma­sud Ahmed said, adding that another ex­trem­ist was shot and ar­rested dur­ing the raid in Kalyan­pur neigh­bour­hood.

Na­tional po­lice chief AKM Sho­hidul Haque told re­porters they sus­pected all 10 were mem­bers of the home-grown ex­trem­ist group Ja­mayetul Mu­jahideen Bangladesh (JMB), which was blamed for the cafe at­tack.

Five gun­men stormed the Holey Artisan Bak­ery in the up­scale Gul­shan neigh­bour­hood on July 1 and killed 20 hostages, in­clud­ing nine Ital­ians and seven Ja­panese na­tion­als, be­fore com­man­dos ended the siege.

The Is­lamic State (IS) group claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tack and posted gruesome im­ages of the car­nage be­fore the mil­i­tary stormed the cafe.

Bangladeshi au­thor­i­ties have re­jected the claim, say­ing in­ter­na­tional ji­hadist net­works have no pres­ence in the world’s third-largest Mus­lim ma­jor­ity na­tion.

But a po­lice of­fi­cial said the sur­vivor who was rushed to a hos­pi­tal af­ter the raid said all of those in­side the hide­out were IS fol­low­ers.

Po­lice said they cor­doned off an apart­ment build­ing af­ter sus­pects threw a small hand bomb at of­fi­cers who were con­duct­ing a “block raid” in the area af­ter mid­night.

The gun­men ex­changed fire in­ter­mit­tently through­out the night and shouted “Al­lahu Ak­bar” (“God is the Great­est”). – AFP

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