Bangladesh's security personnel have killed a man they believe trained militants who attacked a cafe in the capital in July. At least 20 people, including foreigners, were killed in the strike.
The suspect, known as Murad, was killed in a police shootout in Mirpur, just outside Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, on Friday night. The exchange of fire happened when the militant attacked the officers with machetes, a pistol and grenades, Additional Inspector General of Police Mokhlesur Rahman told reporters. Four police officers were wounded in the gunfight.
"He trained the attackers who carried out the July attack," Rahman said, adding that the man was the head of the military wing of Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh (JMB), which is linked to the terror group "Islamic State" (IS).
The suspect, who also went by the name of Jahangir and Omar, also trained attackers who struck at an Eid congregation outside Dhaka a few days after the cafe attack, police counterterrorism chief Monirul Islam told reporters.
Nearly a week ago, Dhaka police raided an alleged militant hideout, killing Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, the man accused of masterminding the attack on the Holey Artisan Cafe and Bakery (pictured above) in Dhaka's upscale Gulshan neighborhood. In the July 1 strike, militants separated non-Muslim guests dining at the venue, killing 20 people, including Italians, Japanese an American and an Indian citizen.
Responsibility for the attack was claimed by IS, which reportedly named Chowdhury its national commander in Bangladesh in April, according to analysts. The government denies the presence of al Qaeda or IS in its territory, but security experts say the scale and style of the operation suggested links to a trans-national network.
In the last few years, Bangladesh has witnessed several attacks by Islamist groups, who target secular intellectuals, activists and religious minorities.
mg/sms (AP, Reuters)