Dhaka – Two suspected militants have been killed in blasts after Bangladeshi security forces raided a hideout of a banned Islamist group in Dhaka, officials said on Saturday.
A woman and a teenage boy blew them up at the hideout in Dhaka’s Ashkona neighbourhood where the suspects holed up for nearly five months, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told reporters on the scene.
He said the home has been used as a den of one of the fugitive militants, Musa, who is a member of the Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh.
“We could not capture him. But he will shortly be nabbed,” said the minister adding that the security forces found a number of unexploded hand grenades at the spot.
Two other women surrendered along with their children hours after the members of the counterterrorism agency cordoned off the building in the early hours and called the suspects to come out of their home.
One of the children, who suffered splinter injuries when the woman killed herself, has been taken to the hospital, said Monirul Islam, head of counter terrorism unit of the police.
Law enforcers lobbed several tear gas canisters targeting the building after the blasts.
The women surrendered to the police are wives of two suspected terrorists, one of whom was killed in a similar raid in September while the other remains on the run, he said.
Among them, Jebunnahar Shila has been identified as the wife of JMB’s military commander Major (retd) Jahidul Islam, who was killed in a raid in Rupnagar on September 2.
A week after the Rupnagar raid, law enforcers conducted a raid at an Azimpur house in the city but Shila managed to escape. The rests, who surrendered, are absconding militant Musa’s wife Trisha and their daughter, police said.
They have covertly been operating the activities of JMB.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia said law enforcers had tried to convince the militants to surrender. But they stayed inside the home wearing suicide vests and have arms and explosives.
Banned in 2005, the militant group was blamed for the July 1 attack on a Dhaka restaurant, in which 20 civilians – mostly foreign nationals – were killed.
Two security personnel and six militants were also killed in the July incident when army commandos stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka’s Gulshan diplomatic area to rescue hostages.
Since that attack, police have killed at least 40 suspected militants, including a Bangladeshi-born Canadian man, in counter-terrorism sweeps.