Dhaka, July 26 (IANS) Nine suspected militants were killed and one was arrested in an early morning raid on a hideout in Dhaka’s Kalyanpur area on Tuesday.
“We initially suspect them to be JMB (Jamaa’tul Mujahideen Bangladesh) operatives,” bdnews24.com quoted Inspector General of Police (IGP) A.K.M. Shahidul Hoque as saying.
Police said the militants were occupying a fourth-floor flat in a six-storey building — most of its apartments rented out to bachelors.
Additional Police Commissioner Sheikh Maruf Hasan said preparations for the raid, jointly conducted by Rapid Action Battalion, an elite anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit, and police, got under way after midnight.
The final storming, led by SWAT, started just before 6 a.m., he said.
Hasan said they found nine bodies inside the apartment once the raid ended.
Police are yet to reveal the identities of those killed.
“Jihadi books, bombs and firearms have been found,” said the senior police officer.
Police said all the dead wore black clothes and that they had found a black flag as well.
“We have found unpacked black dresses and a black flag. A grenade and a pistol have been seized from the apartment,” bdnews24.com quoted Additional Deputy Commissioner Sanowar Hossain of the counter-terrorism unit as saying.
The five Gulshan cafe killers, too, had worn black clothes while posing for photographs in front of an Islamic State flag.
Since the July 1 attack at the cafe in Dhaka’s Gulshan area, which left 22 people dead, police have been conducting raids on suspected militant hideouts in the capital and elsewhere.
One of the suspected militants, injured in the skirmish, was taken to the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH).
Inspector-General of Pplice Hoque told the media that grenades were lobbed at the police as they closed in.
“The militants came out of the apartment firing their way out in an attempt to escape. They wore black dresses, had turbans on their heads, and backpacks with them,” said Hoque.
He said the militants and the Gulshan cafe attackers belonged to the same group.
“We suspect them to be JMB activists, but they claim themselves to be part of the IS (Islamic State).”
“We have found no IS links with them,” said the IGP.