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Several killed in Bangladesh bombings

Two explosions in Bangladesh's northeastern city of Sylhet have killed at least six people and injured more than 40. The self-styled "Islamic State" (IS) group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The twin blasts targeted police and hundreds of onlookers who were watching commandos conducting an anti-militant operation at a five-storey apartment building, police said.

Police and security officers were among the victims of the bombings.

The raid on the apartment building, which is believed to house Islamic extremists, came after a series of suicide attacks on security camps by Islamist extremists this month.

Local police have blamed the bombings on a new faction of the homegrown extremist group, Jamayetul ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). The Bangladeshi government denies IS has any presence in the country, arguing instead that a new faction of JMB was behind that and other attacks.

But IS has claimed responsibility for a wave of killings since 2015, such as a major attack on a Dhaka cafe last year in which 22 people, including 18 foreign hostages, were killed.

IS and Al Qaeda have made competing claims over killings of foreigners, liberals and members of religious minorities in Bangladesh, a mostly Muslim country of 160 million people.

jbh/gsw (Reuters, AFP)

 

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