Monday, October 18

Militants shouted Allahu Akbar with black flags: 14 killed in overnight raid in Dhaka’s Kalyanpur



The militants shouted “Allahu Akbar” before they attacked the law enforcers during a special drive of the joint forces in Dhaka’s Kalyanpur today.

Police found Allahu Akbar inscribed black flags from the den, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia said while addressing a press briefing at his office.

Nine militants were left dead during the raid and one was caught alive.

Police recovered 13 handmade grenades, one sword, one pistol, seven magazines and bullets from the den, the DMP commissioner said.

The militants had rented the apartment on June 20 and had gathered there to carry out terror attacks, he claimed.

One police man was slightly injured in the operation, Mia said.

The militants were aged about 20, wore jeans and sneakers and were highly educated, he added.

Mia further added that police suspect these attackers belong to the same group that attacked the Gulshan café because similar kind of red handkerchiefs and backpacks were found. “Black dresses were also found there,” he added.

The militant detained from the spot with bullet injuries was taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital. He claimed to be a member of the Islamic State, DMCH police camp sources said earlier.

Nine alleged militants were killed this morning during a special drive of the joint forces in Dhaka’s Kalyanpur, ending an overnight standoff that ensued with a raid to hunt down “militant den”.

SWAT, Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), Detective Branch of police (DB) and Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) jointly carried out a one-hour operation “Storm 26” from 5:51am.

“We neutralised nine militants in the operation,” Sheikh Maruf Hassan, DMP’s additional commissioner, told media on completion of the operation.

One militant was detained from the spot with bullet injuries and taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital. He claimed to be a member of the Islamic State, DMCH police camp sources said.

Inspector General of Police AKM Shahidul Haque, who visited the scene, told reporters that these militants had black outfits similar to those Gulshan cafe attackers were wearing.

“The detained person claims to be an IS member, but we think they are of the banned militant outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB),” he added.

On July 1, gunmen killed 20 hostages, mostly foreign nationals, at an upscale eatery Holey Artisan Bakery in the capital’s diplomatic zone in a 12-hour siege.

Police believe the attacks on the Gulshan restaurant and Sholakia Eidgah were both carried out by JMB militants who were trying to wield the emblem of the Islamic State.

Mirpur police and Rab carried out the primary crackdown in the multi-storied “Jahaj Building” on road No. 5 at Kalyanpur around 12:45am, our correspondent reports from the spot.

The militants said to have hurled handmade bombs at the law enforcers, who in retaliation, fired several rounds. The occupants of the building and adjacent ones were evacuated overnight.

The ‘Jahaj Building,’ which is said to be the house where the alleged militants were living, at Road no. 5 in Dhaka’s Kalyanpur. Photo: Shaheen Mollah

“We took time to evacuate the residents,” police’s Additional Commissioner Maruf Hassan said.

The militants were holed up in the fifth floor of the building. Police said they had rented the flat and were living there.

Several hundred bullets were heard to have been fired during hour-long operation “Storm 26”. Nine alleged militants were said to have been killed at the spot.

Last reported, police had cordoned off the area and were going through the building. A team of bomb-neutralising squad was defusing some handmade crude bombs in the building.

The alleged militant who was held with bullet-wounds from the scene was identified as Hassan, hailing from Bogra. He claimed to be a student of Bogra’s Government Shah Sultan College.

Hassan had a bullet injury and a fractured left leg, Sentu Chandra Das, an assistant sub-inspector at DMCH police camp, told The Daily Star.

An ambulance of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence seen at Road no 5 in Kalyanpur of Dhaka where joint forces conducted a special anti-militancy drive on July 26, 2016. Photo: Shaheen Mollah

The detainee told doctors that he along with ten others live on the fourth floor of the building from where he jumped off sensing presence of police.

Conversing with the DMCH doctors, he claimed that he was the cook of the militants living in “Jahaj Building”. There were heavy arms and explosives inside the flat, Hassan added.

He told them that he was an operative of the Islamic State. Bangladesh’s police chief later said he was more likely to be a JMB operative – those who carried out Gulshan and Sholakia attacks.

Identities of eight of the nine suspected militants, who were killed have been confirmed, UNB reports quoting the detainee Hassan.

They were Robin, Ovi, Sabbir, Atik, Sohan, Imran, Taposh and Iqbal.

Hasan said that he had been living with them in the building for the last one year where he worked as a cook. However, police did not reveal anything about the deceased militants.