Bangladesh PM hails killing of militant
BANGLADESH’S prime minister said the nation was “free of another curse” after police stormed a militant hideout, shooting dead the suspected mastermind of an horrific attack on a cafe that killed 22 hostages.
The bodies of three Muslim extremists were found after an hourlong gun battle with militants in Narayanganj, a city 25 kilometres south of Dhaka, on August 27.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina praised police and intelligence agencies for the operation which killed Tamim Chowdhury, a Bangladeshi-Canadian believed to have planned the attack.
“The main mastermind of the Holey Artisan [attack] has been eliminated,” Ms Hasina told reporters at her office, referring to the Gulshan cafe incident.
“The nation has become free of another curse,” she said, adding that the “elimination of the extremists” would bolster “people’s confidence”.
The police raid came two days before US Secretary of State John Kerry is set to arrive in Bangladesh, the highest-ranked Western official to visit the South Asian nation since the attack.
Officials said security issues, including Dhaka-Washington anti-terror cooperation, will feature during Mr Kerry’s talks with his Bangladeshi counterpart today.
Thirty-year-old Mr Chowdhury, who returned from Canada in 2013, had earlier been named by police as the suspected mastermind of the attack on the cafe in Gulshan, an upscale Dhaka neighbourhood.
Police say Mr Chowdhury had led and financed efforts to radicalise young Muslims since returning from Canada three years ago. His role in fostering extremism was revealed during the interrogation of Rakibul Hasan, 25, who was arrested in a raid on a militant hideout in July.
Bangladesh police escort the bodies of suspected militants following the storming of a militant hideout in Narayanganj, some 25 kilometres (16 miles) south of Dhaka, on August 27.