Security forces end Moulvibazar raid, three 'militants' dead

The assault on a militant hideout in Moulvibazar town has ended with the death of three militants who police said blew themselves up to avoid arrest.

Published : 1 April 2017, 06:29 AM
Updated : 1 April 2017, 08:14 PM

The 80-hour standoff started early Wednesday. On Friday, security forces launched 'Operation Maximus' to storm the hideout.

Security forces have found the bodies of two men and a woman inside the duplex house at the Barahaat neighbourhood, counter-terrorism unit chief Monirul Islam told reporters on Saturday.

Along with Barahaat house, police on Wednesday sealed off another house, 18km away at Nasirpur on the outskirts of the district town.

After the assault on the Nasirpur terror den ended on Thursday, mutilated bodies of seven persons, including children were found. Police said they blew themselves up to avoid capture.

On Friday, SWAT personnel and the counter-terrorism unit launched the assault on the duplex house in the town, half a kilometre away from the Sylhet-Moulvibazar Highway.

Intermittent blasts and intense gunfire continued throughout the day. The assault was postponed in the evening due to bad weather.

The operation resumed in the morning. Three hours later, counter-terrorism chief Monirul Islam informed the media that the operation was over. "We have entered the building. Bodies of two men and a woman have been found."

Their identity was yet to be confirmed, but Islam claimed that one of them were 'directly involved' in the March 25 blasts on the street outside a terror den in Sylhet, where the army commandos were conducting an assault.

The twin blasts left seven persons dead, including the RAB Intelligence chief and two police inspectors.

"We are more or less confirmed that he was directly involved in the Sylhet incident. They are responsible for the killings," said Islam, a deputy inspector general of Bangladesh Police.

The militants were asked to turn themselves in. "We wanted to capture them alive, they were asked to surrender. But they did not respond," DIG Islam said hinting that they were suicide blasts.

Heavy gunfire could be heard soon after 'Operation Maximus' was launched on Friday morning. Smoke could be seen coming out of the two-story building. At least three blasts were heard later in the day.

Islam said that they took extra precautions keeping in mind the experience in Sylhet.

"They had planted explosives at different places inside the house. A woman lobbed two grenades on the first day. One of them exploded and the other fell on the field nearby unexploded. The SWAT team had to be very careful while moving in."

He said that the assault was conducted keeping in mind the matter of civilian security.