Nine suspected militants killed in Dhaka police raid

Nine suspected militants were killed during a raid in Dhaka on Tuesday and police were investigating their links to the banned Islamist group, Jammatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh (JMB).

One suspect, who was injured in the police operation, was in custody and undergoing treatment at a state-run hospital, said Sheikh Maruf Hasan, an additional police commissioner.

Police said that pistols, knives and jihadist material were recovered during the raid in the Kallyanpur neighbourhood of the Bangladeshi capital following a tip-off that suspected militants were in the area.

A backpack similar to one used by the terrorists behind a restaurant attack and hostage-taking earlier this month was also found, police said.

On July 1, terrorists took hostages at the Holey Artisan Bakery restaurant in the upscale Gulshan district of Dhaka, eventually killing 20 civilians, mostly foreign nationals.

Two security officials were also killed, while six suspected militants were killed by the commandos who stormed the restaurant the following day.

"So far, our primary findings suggest that the men and the Gulshan attackers belonged to the same group. The backpacks we found in the raid are similar to ones used by the attackers in Gulshan," Dhaka Police Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia told a press conference.

He said the suspected militants were aged between 20 to 27 years.

Police released photographs on social media of the suspects killed as well as their den, seeking the public's help on any information about them.

They remain unidentified, except for the one arrested, who police said comes from Bogra, a northern district of Bangladesh.

The men tried to shoot their way out of the five-storey apartment building, which had been cordoned off by security forces.

Mia said the militants chanted "Allahu Akbar," or "God is great" before they attacked police with bombs.

In 2005, JMB masterminded a series of bombings across Bangladesh that killed 30 people and injured more than 250. The group, which has campaigned for sharia law to be imposed in the Muslim-majority country, was banned after those attacks.

Last update: Tue, 26/07/2016 - 20:33
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