DHAKA – Three suspects were killed on Friday during a counter-terror police operation in Bangladesh that lasted 10 hours, in which, according to the authorities, there was a shoot-out and grenades were thrown that caused minor injuries to three officers.
The head of the Rapid Action Battalion of the Bangladesh police, Benazir Ahmed, confirmed the death of the alleged extremists in an operation by them but could not confirm their identities.
One of the three people killed was wearing an explosive vest, he added.
According to RAB spokesperson Mufti Mahmud Khan, the operation began at 2:00 am local time in the Nakhal Para area in Dhaka following a tipoff from the intelligence services regarding the presence of alleged extremists inside a five-story building.
“During the raid they threw a grenade at us and also there was an exchange of fire,” Khan said, adding that they seized weapons and explosives during the operations.
Khan further said that they were putting the details together to try to determine the identities of the three people killed.
Bangladesh witnessed a spate of Islamist attacks between 2013-2016 that targeted members of religious minorities, foreigners, LGBT activists, thinkers and secular bloggers critical of fundamentalism.
Groups such as the Islamic State terror organization and al-Qaeda in South Asia have claimed responsibility for some of the attacks, although the government blames local groups including the JMB and the extremist organization Ansar al Islam (known as Ansarullah Bangla Team) for the assaults.
The IS claimed responsibility for the attack on a restaurant in Dhaka that caused 22 deaths, mostly foreigners, in July 2016.
Following this attack, the RAB carried out dozens of operations in which an undetermined number of alleged terrorists with links to the JMB were killed.
Human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch have often denounced repeated abuses and extrajudicial killings by this special forces team of the Bangladesh security forces.