A boy and five suspected militants were killed Thursday during two raids by police in southern and eastern Bangladesh, officials said.
The counter-terrorist raids were the deadliest since 12 suspects were killed during a series of police operations near Dhaka on Oct. 8. Thursday’s killings brought to at least 46 the total number of alleged militants who have died during raids or shootouts with police since terrorists massacred 20 hostages at a café in Dhaka in July 2016.
The boy died Thursday along with four alleged members of the militant group Neo-JMB, including a female suspect, when some of the suspects blew themselves up as a special weapons and tactical (SWAT) team and counter-terrorist officers raided their hideout in a Chittagong district, according to police.
“The child’s body was lying on the staircase where the woman militant was found dead,” Chittagong Police Additional Superintendent Habibur Rahman told reporters. He said the police would conduct DNA tests to identify the boy and his parents.
Elsewhere, a fifth suspected militant died in a shootout with police in Brahmanbaria, a district in eastern Bangladesh. He was identified as Tajul Islam Mahmud (alias Mama Hujur), 42, one of seven regional commanders of another militant group, Harkatul Jihad al-Islami Bangladesh (HuJI), police said.
Police have not identified the five people killed in Sitakunda, a sub-district of Chittagong district, but they allegedly belonged to a faction of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) that local authorities have blamed for last year’s overnight siege at the Holey Artisan Bakery café – the nation’s deadliest terrorist attack.
Police and witnesses said SWAT officers and counter-terrorism forces raided the militants’ den on the ground floor of a two-story building at 6 a.m. and finished the operation four hours later.
“One of the four slain militants is a woman. One of them died from being shot by police, while the others blew themselves up. The bodies of two militants were torn apart and cannot be identified. Faces of two others are recognizable,” Shafiqul Islam, the deputy inspector general (DIG) of Chittagong police, told reporters.
Full story: BenarNews
Kamran Reza Chowdhury
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