External Affairs

Five Militants Blow Themselves up in Police Raid in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has witnessed an intensified anti-militancy clampdown across the country in recent times. Credit: Reuters/Stringer

Bangladesh has witnessed an intensified anti-militancy clampdown across the country in recent times. Credit: Reuters/Stringer

Dhaka: Five militants from the same family today blew themselves up after stabbing a firefighter to death during a police raid on their hideout in Bangladesh, the latest such incident amid a crackdown on Islamist militants.

The incident took place in Godagari area in Rajshahi district.

Godagari police official Hifzul Alam Munshi said that police surrounded the house at Benipur village early morning after intelligence inputs suggested there were militants present there.

As they tried to storm the hideout at around 8 am, the militants came out and set off the explosions, he said.

Before setting off the blasts, the terror suspects speared a fireman to death. Two policemen have been also injured in the incident.

The fire service men assisting us in the raid died in their suicide blast at the hideout, an official familiar with the development at the police headquarters in Dhaka told PTI.

He added that the operation, launched overnight, was underway as “at least one of them is still trying to resist us from inside”.

The five persons killed in the blasts were the 50-year-old house owner, his 45-year-old wife, 28-year-old daughter and two sons aged 30 and 25.

As the law enforcers were about to approach the house, the suspects came out and attacked officials with sharp weapons, killing a fireman.

Two policemen have been hospitalised with injuries sustained during the attack.

Police rescued two children, who exited the premises before the terror suspects came out.

A woman who was seen sitting on the field outside the house as the raid unfolded, later surrendered. Police said she has been identified as the house owner’s other daughter. She is the mother of the two children  – 8-year-old boy and 3-month-old girl – rescued by police before the blasts, the report said.

Bangladesh witnessed an intensified anti-militancy clampdown across the country as the police headquarters recently circulated a list of nearly 5,000 suspected militants to all district police chiefs.

On Sunday, two suspected militants blew themselves up in “suicide blasts” when security forces raided their hideout.

In March, Bangladeshi police conducted series of large-scale operations against militants, in which at least 17 suspected militants were killed.

On March 31, eight militants blew themselves up with a grenade after the security forces raided their hideout north of the Bangladeshi capital.

Bangladesh has been witnessing a spate of attacks on secular activists, foreigners and religious minorities since 2013. The country launched a massive crackdown on militants, especially after the Dhaka cafe attack.

The ISIS has claimed several attacks in Bangladesh, but the government rejects the presence of foreign terrorist groups in the moderate Muslim-majority country, blaming home-grown groups such as the neo-JMB for terrorist attacks.

(PTI)