Monday, July 15

Gunshots rock Sylhet Shibbari as raid on militant den continues



Explosions and gunshots rang out as members of joint forces led by army commandos stormed the ‘den of militants’ in a building at Shibbari in South Surma upazila of Sylhet on Saturday afternoon after rescuing 69 members of 28 families trapped in the building.

Sound of gunshots and big explosions rocked the area during the army-led operation that began at about 2:00pm and continued till filing of this report at 5:30pm.

After about 30-hour siege to the ‘militants’ den’ by joint forces , a team of Para Commando Battalion of Bangladesh Army, led by GOC Major General Anwarul Momen, launched operation, ‘Twilight’, in the building named ‘Atia Mahal’ at about 8:46am, Additional Deputy Police Commissioner (Media) of SMP Jedan Al Musa.

The team rescued all the 69 residents of the building in three phases from 10:30am to 12:15pm and kept them in a school of the area. Besides, the journalists have been removed one kilometer away from the building.

Musa said law enforcers before the operation had asked the militants to surrender but they did not respond to their call.

A team of Special Weapons nd Tactics (SWAT), Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and police took position in front of the house.

On Friday night, army commandos joined the joint forces to raid the house after police cordoned it off in the early hours of Friday.

A team of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit reached the spot around 4pm on Friday from Dhaka. Another team of Para-Commando Battalion of Bangladesh Army had also been there around 8pm on Friday to join the drive.

Later, the joint forces comprising district police, and members of SWAT, including a five-member bomb disposal unit, Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and the Army commandos started the preparations to enter the five-storey building named ‘Atia Mahal’.

Besides, police, members of Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI), Detective Branch (DB) of police, City Special Branch (SB), Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) and other law enforcement also are also there.

Police suspected that the militants might have taken their position in a room on the east side of a flat on the ground floor of the building.

Meanwhile, police evacuated 70 people from a building adjacent to Atia Mahal.