Bangladesh security forces raided a suspected Islamist extremist hideout in Dhaka on Monday killing at least two militants, police said.
Police commandos were met with gunfire on arriving at a house in the capital’s Bosila neighborhood after midnight on Monday, April 29, Lieutenant Colonel Ashique Billah told AFP.
This was followed by an explosion which demolished the walls of the house, the Rapid Action Battalion commander added.
“Our bomb disposal unit found the body parts of two militants in the house. The explosion was so powerful that it tore apart the bodies and shook the whole area,” he said.
Four other people were detained including a caretaker and imam from a nearby mosque, the officer added.
Bangladesh launched a crackdown on Islamist extremism after attacks in July 2016, when Islamic State-inspired militants stormed a Dhaka cafe killing 22 people, including 18 foreigners.
Monday’s raid came after police received information about the presence of suspected members of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, the group that carried out the cafe attack, Reuters reported.
JMB was founded in Bangladesh in 1998 with the aim of establishing an Islamic state in Bangladesh. Weakened by security operations in the early 2000s that swept up hundreds of its purported members and saw its leadership executed, a faction of the organization called Neo-Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh re-emerged in the 2010s and refers to itself as “Islamic State Bangladesh.”
Although it has been featured in ISIS central propaganda, the faction is not thought to have been recognized official wilayat, or province, and the Bangladeshi government does not acknowledge an ISIS presence in the country.
Bangladesh has boosted security since the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, which were carried out in the name of Islamic State.
With reporting from AFP