Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has rejected the notion that there is any Islamic State link with the suicide blasts during the raid at a militant hideout in Sylhet that killed six people.
“We did not say that militancy has been eliminated from the country. We said it is under control,” the minister told reporters Sunday morning after placing wreaths on the Martyrs Monument at Rajarbagh Police Lines on the occasion of the 47th Independence Day.
“We are conducting raids across the country, but have not been lucky enough to arrest any IS member here.”
IS took credit for the blast after several hours through its Arabic Amaq news agency. It was the 29th attack IS has claimed in Bangladesh since September 2015.
The government has been denying the existence of IS' organisational structure in the country, and claims that these are members of a new faction of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (known as New JMB or Neo JMB).
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When asked whether there is any militant leader hiding in the Sylhet den, he said: “The operation is underway. We cannot say anything before the end of the operation. However, it seems there may be a top militant leader inside.
“There were many residents in the building where the militants holed up in Sylhet. So the operational responsibility was given to the army to minimise risk.”
The minister was accompanied by Inspector General of Police AKM Shahidul Hoque, Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia and other senior officials.
At least six people including two cops were killed and more than 50 injured after a suicide blast took place near the Sylhet militant hideout Saturday evening.
An Army Para-Commando Battalion has been conducting “Operation Twilight” in the militant den housed at Atia Mahal in Shibbari area of Sylhet city since Saturday morning. Law enforcers kept the building cordoned off from Friday upon receiving information that some militants may be hiding in the building.