Eleven suspected militants have been killed in gunfights with law enforcers in three separate raids in Gazipur and Tangail districts.
Police's Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit conducted one of the raids and elite force Rapid Action Battalion the other two Saturday.
In another drive carried out in Ashulia area of Savar, RAB arrested Abdur Rahman, the main financier of the recent terrorist attacks, and recovered Tk30 lakh, a pistol, ammunition, five knives, a mobile jammer and radical books from his possession.
Members of the CT unit surrounded a two-storey house in Patartek area in Gazipur around 3:30am.
Around 8:30am, police called for the residents to come out. They were met with gunfire in response. Following about two hours of gunfight, the militants threatened to explode a gas cylinder behind the door if police tried to come in.
Police ceased operation and asked the militants to surrender again. The militants fired more shots at the law enforcers. At 3pm, police carried out the final drive which went on for about 40 minutes. At least 14 grenades thrown from the house exploded in this time.
At the end of the raid, seven militants were found dead on the first floor of the building.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal and senior officials of the police visited the spot in the last moments of the drive.
Of the deceased, one is Faridul Islam alias Akash alias Pravat, the Dhaka division's operational commander of New JMB. The identities of the other six have not been confirmed.
The minister later told reporters that Akash had been trying to mobilise the New JMB group since the death of Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury in Narayanganj raid in August.
Sources said the missing elder son of Tanvir Qadri, who committed suicide during the Azimpur raid, was among the seven militants killed in Patartek raid.
At the end of the operation, police recovered three small arms and locally-made sharp weapons.
[caption id="attachment_20880" align="alignleft" width="150"]
A photo of Akash, the New JMB leader killed by police[/caption]
ADC Sanowar Hossain of the CT bomb disposal unit told the Dhaka Tribune that they cordoned off the house on the basis of a tip-off that Akash and his cohorts were staying there.
The building is owned by Saudi Arabia expatriate Solaiman Miah and managed by his younger brother Osman Gani, a former teacher of Jangalia Senior Fazil Madrasa in Kaliganj.
[caption id="attachment_20885" align="aligncenter" width="690"]
The seven militants including Akash were staying in this house in Gazipur Patartek[/caption]
A SWAT member was hit by a bullet in the operation but his injuries were minimal.
Two suspected militants were killed during an operation by RAB at a den in Lebubagan area of Gazipur, about 500 metres from the Patartek den.
RAB Legal and Media Wing Director Mufti Mahmud Khan confirmed the deaths to the Dhaka Tribune. RAB 12 began the drive around 5am and it continued till midday.
The killed militants were primarily identified as Rashed Mia and Touhidul Islam, of Narsingdi, but RAB was checking whether these identities were real.
Mufti Mahmud said one AK22 rifle, bomb making materials, one laptop, a locally-made sharp weapon and some bullets were seized from the den.
House owner Ataur Rahman, who is staying in Dhaka, finished the construction of the house one and a half months ago, said RAB 1 Deputy Commander Kazi Shoiab Hossain.
Rashid Mia had told Ataur that he passed HSC and was preparing for university admissions. Touhidul had identified himself as a student of Dhaka University of Engineering and Technology (Duet).
In another raid carried out by RAB, two suspected militants were killed in a three-storey building in Mirzamath area of Kagmara in Tangail town in the morning.
Commanding Officer RAB 12 Additional DIG Md Shahabuddin Khan said the raid took place from 10:30am to 3pm.
Commander of CPC 3 Md Mohiuddin Faruki told the Dhaka Tribune the dead militants had been identified as Atiqur Rahman and Sagar Hossain from Rajshahi Charghat.
Two RAB men were injured during the drive, he claimed.
RAB recovered one pistol, one revolver, 11 sharp weapons, 12 bullets, two laptops and Tk64,362 from the ground floor flat.
Additional DIG Shahabuddin said that the two men called landlord Azhar Ali Master on September 27 identifying themselves as students and moved in the next day.
Azhar Ali was detained for questioning, he added.
Azhar Ali told the Dhaka Tribune that he had asked the new tenants for their national IDs but they had asked for seven days' time.
“After that I went away to Tabligh and returned today. Now I have lean rt that they are involved in terrorist activities,” he added.
In December, two JMB members were killed in a gunfight with RAB at an abandoned house in Vogra area near Gazipur-Chittagong bypass road.
Later in July, RAB arrested four members of JMB including a regional chief during a raid in Gazipur's Tongi area. A large cache of arms, ammunition and bomb-making materials were also recovered from the fifth floor of the six-storey building at Ouchpara in Tongi's Mukhtarbari.
CT unit's ADC Sanowar told the press at the end of the Patartek raid that through this raid, the police had destroyed the arms and ammunition supply chain of the New JMB group.
“We have also successfully destroyed most of their ready force which was prepared to carry out attacks at any time,” he said. “At this point, we can say that in today's operation we have destroyed about 99% of the New JMB's strength.”