Dhaka – Bangladeshi security forces on Saturday killed at least 11 suspected Islamist militants after the lawmen stormed three hideouts in two central districts, police said.
Nine of them were gunned down in the district of Gazipur while two others were killed in Tangail, Monirul Islam, head of Bangladesh’s counterterrorism unit of police, told reporters.
Officers from the Rapid Action Battalion, counter-terrorism unit and local police jointly conducted the anti-militant raids in three homes, where the suspects had been holed up for months.
The officer said that the lawmen, using megaphone, asked the militants to surrender after they cordoned off two homes in the town of Gazipur. But, the militants fired their guns stead, prompting the cops to retaliate with bullets.
The gunfight in Gazipur that erupted in the morning lasted for hours and the police later found seven bodies in a home while two others in the other den.
Akash, the head of the military wing of a faction of Jamaatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh, was among the slain militants.
Officer Mizarur Rahman Bhuyan said they recovered an AK-47 rifle, bullets, bomb-making explosive substances and a machete from one of the houses, the officer said.
He said a local commander of banned militant group Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) was among the dead.
The militant group, banned in 2005 after it carried out a number of attacks on public offices, was blamed for the deadly July 1 attack on a restaurant that left 20 civilians, mostly foreign nationals, dead in Dhaka.
Two security personnel and six militants were also killed when army commandos stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka’s Gulshan diplomatic area to rescue the hostages.
Police have killed at least 14 suspected militants, including a Bangladeshi-born Canadian man, in the last three months as part of counter-terrorism raids launched after the cafe attack.
Mufti Mahmud Khan, a spokesman of the crime-busting Rapid Action Battalion, said two suspects were killed in a gunfight with the battalion members in Tangail, more than 70 kilometers north-west of Dhaka.