Four militants killed in raid in NE Bangladesh, death toll rises to 10

Four militants killed in raid in NE Bangladesh, death toll rises to 10
# 28 March 2017 01:02 (UTC +04:00)

An assault by army commandos on a militant hideout in the Sylhet city, some 240 km northeast of capital Dhaka ended Monday, killing four militants holed up there.

Brigadier General Fakhrul Ahsan, a spokesperson of the operation, told journalists at a press briefing on Monday night that they found four bodies inside the building.

"We've recovered two bodies and contemplating options to recover the two other bodies with suicidal vests."

A huge cache of explosives has been found scattered inside the building, Ahsan said, adding that a portion of the building may collapse if they explode.

"So we need to move very carefully," he said.

"Three of the militants killed were men and one a woman."

The identity of the killed militants was not immediately known.

He said the "Operation Twilight" will continue.

With the recovery of bodies of the four militants from the hideout, the death toll in the operation stood at 10 as six people, including two policemen, were killed and dozens of others injured in two explosions Saturday in the outer cordon of the siege.

The Islamic State (IS) reportedly claimed responsibility for the blasts.

The militant hideout has been cordoned off since early Friday.

The operation to flash out the militant den Monday spilled into its fourth day since Friday.

Bangladesh Army Para-Commando Battalion on Saturday took over the operation from the police.

The same Bangladeshi commandos stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka's diplomatic enclave Gulshan on July 2 last year.

In the wake of the Dhaka cafe attack, Bangladesh has conducted a series of large-scale operations against militants.

Bangladeshi police have hunted down and killed scores of militants linked to the deadly July 1, 2016 cafe attack.

Neo-JMB (an offshoot of the banned militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh) has been blamed for an attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery, in which 20 hostages, mostly foreigners, were killed.