Two suspected militants died and three alleged sponsors were arrested when counter-terror police carried out a raid Sunday at a hideout in southwestern Jhenaidah district, about 245 km (152 miles) from Dhaka.
Two police officers, including one working with the counter terrorism unit, were injured, according to police officials who said their condition was not life threatening.
“One militant clad in a suicide vest rushed in toward police as we entered the house of Jahurul Islam in Bazrapur village (Jhenaidah district). The police fired at him and he died,” Monirul Islam, the chief of the counter terrorism unit, told a press conference in Dhaka. “This is not clear whether he died of the police firing or he died of the suicide vest explosion.”
“Then another militant fitted with suicide vest tried to hug the officer-in-charge of Maheshpur police station (inside the house),” Islam said. The officer-in-charge left the house and the militant chased him.
“In seconds after the officer-in-charge came to a safe distance, the suicide vest exploded,” Islam said.
An officer said the militants were firing at police during the raid.
“At one stage of the firing we entered the house and the militants in suicide vests chased us,” the officer who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters told BenarNews.
Nazmul Karim, an additional deputy commissioner of the counter terrorism unit of the police, and Md Mohsin, the officer-in-charge, were injured in the blast, according to Islam.
Police announced the end of the raid around 8:45 p.m. after the bomb disposal unit defused four bombs recovered from the den.
Islam said one of the slain militants was identified as Tuhin while the other had not been identified.
Landlord, others arrested
Police arrested landlord Jahurul Islam, his son, Jasim Uddin, and his tenant, Alamgir Hossain, on charges related to sponsoring militants.
“Jahurul Islam and his son, Jasim Uddin, are inspired by militants. They used to shelter the outsiders at their house,” Monirul Islam said, adding the two killed and three arrested were members of Neo-JMB, an offshoot of Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh.
Bangladeshi police have carried out at least 20 counter-terrorist raids since July 1, 2016, when members of Neo-JMB killed 20 people, mostly foreigners, during an attack at the Holey Artisan Bakery café in Dhaka. Since then, at least 65 suspected Neo-JMB militants have died, either killed by police or through suicide bombs.
On April 27, four suspected militants blew themselves up as commandos raided a house where they were holed up in Chapai Nawabganj district and after a woman and child were able to flee to safety, officials said.