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At least 7 militants dead as Moulvibazar raid ends

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Moulvibazar Live: Counter-terrorism chief Monirul Islam has said At least seven militants including women have been killed inside a militant den in Moulvibazar.

The “militants” might have blown themselves off inside the hideout, Chief of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit Monirul Islam told journalists this afternoon.

SWAT team began ‘Operation Hit Back’ at Nasirpur “militant hideout” in Moulvibazar Sadar upazila amid rough weather around 10:10am on Thursday.

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“The operation has started. 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,” Moulvibazar’s Superintendent of Police Md Shahjalal said.

The SWAT team will go for action at another militant hideout in Borohat town area after finishing the operation in Nasirpur, police officials said.

Earlier bad weather forced the SWAT team to halt Operation Hit Back at Nasirpur militant hideout in Moulvibazar Sadar upazila of Sylhet on Thursday morning.

The special tactics team of police tried to enter the premises around 5:00am but their operation has been obstructed due to the storm, Mohammad Shahjalal, superintendent of police in Moulvibazar said.

The team of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) started the operation around 6:30pm on Wednesday. During the 70-minute raid, more than 300 shots were fired but police could not confirm if any of the suspected militants were dead.

After finishing the operation in Nasirpur den, law enforcers will go for action at another militant hideout in Borohat town area, police officials said.

Some 10 to 12 suspected militants are believed to be holed up in the two Moulvibazar houses, some 20km apart. Both the houses are owned by Saifur Rahman Shakil, a Bangladeshi man living in England for 30 years, police and local sources said.

Police cordoned off two houses — one at Nasirpur village and another at Borohat town in Moulvibazar Sadar upazila, since early today and last night respectively suspecting militant hideouts. Distance between the two spots is 20 kilometres.

Meanwhile, militants hurled grenades at police at intervals from the hideout in Borohat town. In retaliation, the law enforcers also fired gunshots targeting the den.

Section 144 has been imposed in a 2-km radius of Moulvibazar terror hideouts, which have been surrounded by security forces.

Previously, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said that a SWAT team is on its way and the army will be called in if required in Moulavibazar where police have cordoned off two houses, suspected to be militant dens, at Fatehpur village and Barohat in Sadar upazila.

One of the houses is in Borohat area under Sadar municipality and another is in Sarker Bazar area under Khalilpur union.

Wakil Ahmed, Officer-in-Charge of Sadar Police Station, said, “Police cordoned off the houses around 4:00am.”

The OC also added that members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and firefighters have also joined the police.

However, none has so far been reported to be injured in any explosion.

Mohibul Islam, deputy commissioner of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit (CTTC) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said that militants hurled a grenade at the law enforcers from the town “hideout” this morning.

CTTC members from Dhaka and police were conducting the drive, Mohibul said in the morning.

Deputy Commissioner Islam said that bullets were fired and grenades were hurled at police from the house in Fatehpur Village. “The police also opened fire.”

He said they have sealed off the two houses and were trying to establish contact with the suspected militants inside. “They are yet to say anything. But we will keep on trying in line with our operational strategy.”

As the raids started early in the morning, power and gas supplies in the areas have been disconnected.

Police said the houses are owned by expatriates Saifur Sabbir and Atabbar Mia, who live in London.

Just the previous day, army commandos ended an operation codenamed “Operation Twilight” at a house called Atia Mahal in at Shibbari of Sylhet and handed the crime scene over to the police. Four militants, including a woman, were killed during the Sylhet’s commando assault.

Four civilians and two police officers also died in a twin bomb attack on Saturday night near Atia Mahal. Terror group Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Dhaka,30 March, (campuslive24.com) //AM


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