Raid in Dhaka attack probe
Bangladesh police have killed a man who allegedly trained militants believed to have carried out the July hostage-taking in Dhaka’s diplomatic quarter that left 20 people dead including 17 foreigners, officials said.
The raid followed increased international pressure on Bangladesh to crack down on militants who in recent years have staged violent attacks on diplomats, atheists, bloggers and other perceived enemies of Islam. Earlier this week, US Secretary of State John Kerry visited the country and urged authorities to do more in the fight against radicalism.
Details of the raid overnight on Friday raid in Dhaka’s Mirpur neighbourhood emerged slowly, and authorities only confirmed the killing of the man identified as Murad early yesterday. They said the man, about 40-45 years old, also went by the names of Jahangir and Omar, but they are still trying to determine his full identity.
Police counter-terrorism chief Monirul Islam said the man was killed in a gunbattle outside of his rented, fifthfloor apartment in a six-storey building after he had come to collect some belongings.
“We had asked the landlord to inform us if the man comes back. He came back last night, and we raided to arrest him,” Islam said. Instead, the man opened fire with a pistol on police then stabbed two officers with a knife as they surrounded him, Islam said. A third officer suffered bullet wounds, he said.
Islam described the man as a military commander of the banned group Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh, or JMB, who trained fighters for the July 1 attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka’s Gulshan diplomatic zone, during which many of the foreign hostages were tortured and killed. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks.