Moulvibazar anti-terror raids resume after thwarted by bad weather

The raids on two militant hideouts in Moulvibazar resumed after being halted due to heavy rain and storms since early morning Thursday and due to lack of light in the night.

Published : 30 March 2017, 05:08 AM
Updated : 30 March 2017, 08:27 AM

Early on Wednesday, security forces surrounded two houses which were possibly used as militant hideouts within hours of the end of 'Operation Twilight' in neighbouring district of Sylhet.

One of the houses is located at Barhahaat neighbourhood of the district town, the other 18 km away at Nasirpur in Sadar Upazila's Khalilpur Union council.

The bomb disposal unit has entered the premises of the Nasirpur house as the assault 'Operation Hit Back' resumed Thursday morning.

According to unverified reports, SWAT member are conducting a search.

Meanwhile, gunshots could be heard from the other militant hideout, said residents of Barhahaat neighbourhood in the town.

Police, however, are yet to brief the media over the details on the assaults,

"The operations have resumed after rains stopped. We will brief the media at Nasirpur if we have something at the end of the assault. Otherwise, a briefing will be held after the raid on the house in the town finishes," he said.

Bursts of gunfire and explosions could be heard from the two houses, owned by an expatriate living in London, until late on Wednesday.

'Operation Hit Back' at the Nasirpur terror den was launched around 6:30pm amid rains, when intense firing could be heard for the 30 minutes.

Around 11pm, Assistant Superintendent of Police Mainuddin, the commanding officer of RAB's Srimangal camp, told that the assault was suspended due to lack of light.

He said it would resume in the morning, which was delayed due to heavy rains and storms.

SWAT members arrived at Nasirpur around 7am, but had to wait for the rain to stop.

Meanwhile, a SWAT team went to the town's Barhahaat neighbourhood, where security forces have sealed off a three-story building and inspected the scene.

Around 8am, bomb disposal unit members entered the premises of the Nasirpur hideout, said a senior law-enforcer.

The two houses, which are 18 kms away, are owned by a Bangladeshi expatriate, who lives in London.

As many as 10 people, including women and children, might be in the houses, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan told the media in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Soon after the houses were cordoned off, the local administration imposed Section 144 restricting movement of vehicles and pedestrians in the two areas.

Gas and power connections have also been cut off. The district administration used loudspeakers to advise the residents to stay safe.

Meanwhile in Comilla, police sealed off a house, possibly being used as a terror den, at Kotbari on the outskirts of the city on Wednesday afternoon.

Security forces maintained the cordon on Thursday and waiting for the city corporation elections to end.