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As it happened: Sylhet militant raid and Operation Twilight

  • Published at 09:17 am March 24th, 2017
  • Last updated at 10:18 pm March 28th, 2017
As it happened: Sylhet militant raid and Operation Twilight

Key points from the joint forces press briefing on Tuesday; March 28, 2017

-Military intelligence unit Director Fakhrul Ahsan says that police cordoned off Atia Mahal on information received during the recent raid in Sitakunda, Chittagong.-The five-storey building had 6 flats on each floor, totaling 30 flats. Families were living in 28 of the flats.-Militants had planted IEDs throughout the staircase and other areas of the building. A collapsible gate and a motorcycle at the entrance were also rigged to explode.-A team of specialised commandos and the 17 Infantry Division took charge of the operation on Saturday after SWAT requested assistance.-SWAT had provided information to the para-commandos regarding the location of the four militants, including one female, within the building.-On Saturday, March 25, 78 people were rescued from the building, including 30 males, 27 females and 21 children.-A CID crime scene team will examine the building over the next few days-Crime scene examination teams will have to proceed with caution as there are still live IEDs on the second, third and fourth floors of the building. A refrigerator bomb also left the building structurally unstable.
8:10pm- Military intelligence unit Director Brig Gen Fakhrul Ahsan says that Operation Twilight is concluded at the press briefing. The Brigadier General adds that rescuing the trapped families was the most difficult part of the operation and praises commandos for their efforts.[arve url="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/314886271&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true"/]The military intelligence unit director also clarifies that there were two points around the entrance that were rigged with bombs- a collapsible gate and a motorcycle. He also adds that Atia Mahal is now structurally unstable due to the force of explosions, particularly from a refrigerator that was rigged to explode by the militants.[arve url="https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2U3ygHCS0seRHViRGhKckdPanc/preview"/]7:44pm- The press briefing is delayed by 10-25 minutes.7:10pm- ISPR Director Lt Col Rashedul Hassan says that a press briefing will be held at 7:30pm, adding that 17 Infantry Division GOC Maj Gen Anwarul Momen, who led Operation Twilight, will be present.[caption id="attachment_55097" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Sylhet-Raid_4-edited Bodies of two militants recovered from Atia Mahal, awaiting transport to MAG Osmani Medical College for autopsy Mohammed Serajul Islam/Dhaka Tribune[/caption]6:00pm- Sources wishing to remain anonymous claim that a picture found in Atia Mahal matches the file photo police have of Musa.4:31pm- Regarding the identity of one the militants who is being assumed as Musa, a CTTC high official tells the Dhaka Tribune: "One of the militants look like Musa but faces usually get mangled during such incidents."We are trying to match the face of the militant with the picture of Musa which we found during Ashkona raid. We will collect the DNA samples and other evidence."[caption id="attachment_55063" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Sylhet-raid-edited Police have been guarding the perimeter of Atia Mahal since before the raid began on Friday Dhaka Tribune[/caption]4:03pm- Vehicles carrying para-commandos seen leaving the spot.3:35pm- ISPR Director Lt Col Rashedul Hassan tells the Dhaka Tribune: “We hope to end the operation by the evening."We will brief the media at Jalalabad Cantonment and hand over the site to police in the evening.”3pm- Sylhet Kotwali police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Mohammad Sohel Ahmed says the autopsy of the militants has been completed.2:46pm- Army officials attribute the loud noises heard to bomb defusal.2:13pm- Four explosions are heard from inside the building.
Also Read- Manjiara’s family going to Sylhet to identify militant Morjina
1:14pm-  Sources close to the investigation tell the Dhaka Tribune that New JMB leader Mainul Islam alias Abu Musa is among the four militants killed in the siege.However, this has not been confirmed yet and the Dhaka Tribune has not been able to verify it independently.12:15pm- Sylhet Kotwali police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Mohammad Sohel Ahmed tells the Dhaka Tribune: "A four-member medical team led by Dr Shamsul Alam has started performing the autopsy on the two militants who were handed over to the police on Monday."The autopsies are being performed at Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College morgue."[caption id="attachment_55028" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Two policemen seen waiting outside Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College morgue on March 28, 2017 DHAKA TRIBUNE Two policemen seen waiting outside Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College morgue on March 28, 2017 DHAKA TRIBUNE[/caption]11:42am- Sylhet Metropolitan Police (SMP) Additional Commissioner Rokon Uddin says the procedure to handover the bodies of the two militants to the police is underway.9:36am- Law enforcers are still trying to recover the bodies of two militants from the building, reports Our Correspondent Tarek Mahmud.1:55am- The ISPR Director Lt Col Mohammed Rashidul Hasan requests all news media to refrain from publishing any photo or video of the raid that clearly displays any facial features of the para-commandos. The request is made to maintain operational integrity.12:30am- (Tuesday, March 28)- ADC Zedan says police have collected blood and viscera from the militants for DNA analysis to compare with their possible families.10:49pm- The two bodies that were handed over are reportedly identified as Morjina and Kawsar, says an official of Sylhet Metropolitan Police, though it is unclear if these are their real identities.9:21pm- A police official, asking not to be named, says it is suspected that the body of the female militant from the hideout is that of Morjina, whose ID was used to rent the flat. She is also suspected to be the sister Kamal, one of the deceased militants from the recent raid in Sitakunda.

Key points from the army press briefing on Monday; March 27, 2017

-Military intelligence unit Director Brig Gen Fakhrul Ahsan confirms that the bodies of four dead militants have been found in the hideout.-Three of the dead are male and one is female.-The body of the female militant and one other has been handed over to police.-The other two bodies are still in the hideout. Army has been unable to hand them over as they still have suicide vests on and are surrounded by explosives.-The dead militants are yet to be identified.-The operation is still ongoing as there are numerous live explosives remaining in the building, though it is unlikely that there are more militants.-Sylhet Metropolitan Police (SMP) Additional Commissioner Rokon Uddin says that the body of the female militant and the other that was handed over have been sent to MAG Osmani Medical College for autopsy.
7:59pm- SMP Additional Commissioner Rokon Uddin says that the two bodies that have been handed over were sent to MAG Osmani Medical College for postmortem examination. Details of their identities could not be ascertained prior to the examination.[caption id="attachment_54919" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Bangladesh military intelligence chief Brig Gen Fakhrul Ahsan briefs media on the March 27, 2017 developments of the ongoing raid in a house in Sylhet's Surma upazila Dhaka Tribune Bangladesh military intelligence unit Director Brig Gen Fakhrul Ahsan briefs media on the March 27, 2017 developments of the ongoing raid in a house in Sylhet's Surma upazila Mohammed Serajul Islam/Dhaka Tribune[/caption]7:44pm- Military intelligence unit Director Brig Gen Fakhrul Ahsan says in the briefing that four dead bodies of militants have been found in Atia Mahal. Three of the deceased are male and one is female. Army has handed over the body of the female and one other to police, but they have been unable to handover the other two bodies as they are still wearing suicide vests and surrounded by explosives.He adds that the operation is still ongoing as there are numerous live explosives still in the building, though it is unlikely that there are any more militants.[arve url="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/314699708&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true"/]7:30pm- The press briefing is under way.6:35pm- ISPR representatives confirm over the phone that there will be a press briefing at 7:30pm.6:24pm- SMP DC South Basu Dev Bonik confirms that SMP Commissioner Golam Kibria entered the building along with the SMP additional commissioner and the commando team about an hour and a half ago. Our correspondents also saw a van from the Civil Surgeon Office going towards the building.5:33pm- ISPR Director Lt Col Rashidul Hasan says that there will be a briefing later in the evening but the raid is still ongoing. However, unconfirmed reports say the raid has already ended.5:23pm- No explosions heard in the last hour and a half. A CID crime scene team seen heading towards the hideout.4:02pm- Police hand over the bodies of Shahidul Islam and Khadim Shah to their families after collecting DNA samples, says ADC Jedan Al Musa.2:05pm- Explosion and gunfire heard again.12:30pm- Bodies of Shahidul and Khadim have not been handed over yet, says MAG Osmani Medical College Deputy Director Debabrata Roy.11:45am- Para-commandos are conducting possibly the final raid in the militant hideout, says SMP DC South Basu Dev Bonik. Two huge explosions took place in the building around 10:30am.10:15am- Police have filed a case against unnamed persons over the Saturday’s blast that killed six people near the Sylhet militant hideout, says Mogholabazar police OC Khairul Fazal.8:45am (Monday, March 27)- Raid in the militant hideout is still underway, says Jedan Al Musa. Sporadic gunshots heard around 5:15am and 8:45am.7:00pm- At Osmani Hospital, Director Brig Gen Abdus Sabur Miah said neurosurgeons and surgeons there had been kept on alert for any possible emergencies.At present there are 28 victims of Saturday's blast being treated at the hospital. Five of them are in post-operative care. The director said hospital staff held 10 simultaneous surgeries on Saturday and all staff including 100 interns had been on duty till early Sunday morning.[caption id="attachment_54777" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Law enforcers form a perimeter around the Sylhet militant den in Shibbari on March 26, 2017 Dhaka Tribune Law enforcers form a perimeter around the Sylhet militant den in Shibbari on March 26, 2017 Dhaka Tribune[/caption]All of the patients currently under treatment are stable.6:20pm- Inspector General of Police AKM Shahidul Haque issues a statement mourning the deaths of two police officials in a suicide attack in Sylhet."They have sacrificed their lives for the nation. Their sacrifices will stand forever as an ideal for the police force," he said.[arve url="https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2U3ygHCS0seRXMtX0FxM0dwNTA/preview"/]5:30pm- The commandos entered from the top of the building to avoid the ground floor booby traps. After the extraction, rocket launchers and explosives were used to try and create entry points in the building but the strategy did not work well. "Afterwards we used tear gas and they started running around," the spokesman said. Window grills were cut and ladders were placed from the adjacent building's roof to Atia Mahal's roof. The militants did not anticipate this, Fakhrul said."The turbulent weather worked in our favour. Heavy rain and gust masked the sound of commandos' movement."[arve url="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/314533645&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true"/]

Key points from the press briefing on Sunday; March 26, 2017

- Primary objective of the operation was to rescue the civilians safely from the building. That has been accomplished, says Brig Gen Fakhrul.- Current goal is to "neutralise" the militants while avoiding harm to the para-commandos.- Two militants who engaged the commandos were shot down. One of them nevertheless managed to explode the bomb tied to his body.- No military personnel has been injured in the operation so far.- Brig Gen Fakhrul reiterated that the operation is being slowed down because the militants had laid out explosives around the building.- Militants have small firearms, explosives and IEDs. All of them are wearing suicide vests.- Extraction of residents of the building was done from top of the building and downwards.
5:30pm- Brig Gen Fakhrul Ahsan says at press briefing that two militants have been killed in the para-commando operations in the building. One or more are still inside, and the operation will continue until they are all "neutralised." It cannot be said at this point when the operation will be complete, he said.4:52pm- No sound of explosion or gunfire heard from inside the Atia Mahal.4:30pm- A briefing regarding the raid will be held in the afternoon.3:48pm- Smoke is billowing out of western part of the building’s fourth floor, gunshots continue.[caption id="attachment_54771" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Armed para-commandos set up a perimeter around a militant hideout in Shibbari, Sylhet on March 25, 2017 Dhaka Tribune Armed para-commandos set up a perimeter around a militant hideout in Shibbari, Sylhet on March 25, 2017 Dhaka Tribune[/caption]3:01pm- Namaz-e-janaza of two police officials, who died in Saturday’s blast, was held at Sylhet Metropolitan Police ground around 2pm. Their bodies are being taken to their villages in Noakhali and Sunamganj, says SMP Commissioner Golam Kibria.2:15pm- An elderly woman evacuated from a building adjacent to Atia Mahal. She was left behind on Saturday, says DC South Basu Dev Bonik. Fresh firing heard from the militant hideout.1:20pm- Sound of four blasts heard from inside the building.12:55pm- Lt Col Abul Kalam Azad is being taken to Singapore for better treatment and Major Azad is fine now, says RAB Director (media) Mufti Mahmud Khan.12:22pm- Authorities of Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College have asked the doctors to remain on standby today despite holiday on occasion of Independence Day, says hospital’s Deputy Director Debabrata Roy. Doctors have conducted inquest over the bodies of two police officials, who died in Saturday’s blast.11:45am- A massive explosion takes place inside shaking the building and surrounding area.
Also Read- Home Minister: Sylhet blasts not linked to IS
11:18am- About 70 shops and restaurants of Dev market, adjacent to Atia Mahal, have been kept closed for last three days soon after the raid began. But the train movement is normal on the rail track near the building. Police are advising people to stay away from the raid area for safety.11:09am- More gunshots fired and grenades blasted inside the building, sound heard from a distance. Law enforcement agencies have cordoned of two kilometres area surrounding the militant den, SMP DC South Basu Dev Bonik says.10:00am- Sound of two explosions and fresh gun firing heard from inside the building.
[caption id="attachment_54642" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Army personnel standing just in front of Atia Mahal Dhaka Tribune Army personnel standing just in front of Atia Mahal Dhaka Tribune [/caption]9:56am- Two RAB officials, injured in Saturday’s suicide attack in Sylhet, are on the way to Dhaka, RAB Media wing Assistant Director Mizanur Rahman Bhuiyan says.9:15am- Several gunshots were heard after intervals early Sunday, locals say.[caption id="attachment_54638" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Army men and police have taken position at a distance from Atia Mahal along with APC, ambulance Dhaka Tribune Army men and police have taken position at a distance from Atia Mahal along with APC, ambulance Dhaka Tribune[/caption]8:30am- Section 144 continues in Shibbari and adjoining areas since 11pm Saturday. Six people were killed so far in the suicide attack, confirms SMP DC South Basu Dev.[caption id="attachment_54633" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Law enforcers are alert across Sylhet, policemen were seen on duty at Humayun Chattar on Sylhet-Fenchuganj road on Sunday morning Dhaka Tribune Law enforcers are alert across Sylhet, policemen were seen on duty at Humayun Chattar on Sylhet-Fenchuganj road on Sunday morning Dhaka Tribune[/caption]2:14am- Inspector Monir, injured in the Shibbari blast, has died at Osmani Hospital. Another victim, Fahim, aged 18, also succumbed to his injuries, said Jalalabad police station OC Akter Hossain. This brings up the total number of victims in the attack to six.[caption id="attachment_54928" align="aligncenter" width="800"]The red-circled bag in the picture had the "time-bomb" inside, which exploded on Saturday; March 25, 2017 midnight. A previous explosion at the same spot, also nearby a militant den which was under siege by the members of law enforcement agency since Friday; March 24, 2017, killed at least 4 people Dhaka Tribune The red-circled bag in the picture had the "time-bomb" inside, which exploded on Saturday; March 25, 2017 midnight. A previous explosion at the same spot, also nearby a militant den which was under siege by the members of law enforcement agency since Friday; March 24, 2017, killed at least 4 people Mohammed Serajul Islam/Dhaka Tribune[/caption]12:17am (Sunday, March 26)- Police confirm that the four deceased in the suicide attack around 6:30pm are court inspecter Abu Kawser, local Chhatra League activist Wahidul Islam Opu, local businessman Shahidul Islam and the unidentified bomber.11:45pm- Islamic State's Amaq news agency reports the suicide blast.8:50pm- CTTC Assistant Commissioner Rohmot Ullah Chowdhury says that there are multiple live bombs still hidden throughout the hideout.8:30pm- Police confirm that Court Inspector Abu Kawser was killed by the bomb dropped by the suicide attacker, as well as two others.A crowd of at least 500-600 people were standing at about 250 metres from the militant den where the attack took place. Our Sylhet Correspondent saw a gory scene of wounded people lying around as the crowd fled. Inspector Monir of Sylhet police and Surma police station Officer-in-Charge Shah Harun Ur Rashid were among those injured in the blast.
Also Read- Suicide bomber targets crowd for the first time
[arve url="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F100006074295517%2Fvideos%2F1870326546513137%2F&show_text=0&width=500"/]7:50pm- ADC Jedan Al Musa says that one of the injured taken to Osmani Medical College Hospital has died.7:29pm- Sylhet Metropolitan Police ADC Jedan Al Musa says that the grenade blast reported at 6:30pm was a suicide attack. Four of 40 injured have been taken to Osmani Medical College Hospital.[caption id="attachment_54592" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Army officials updating journalists regarding the ongoing operation at a press briefing on Saturday evening Dhaka Tribune Army officials updating journalists regarding the ongoing operation at a press briefing on Saturday evening Dhaka Tribune[/caption]7:16pm- Shahporan OC Shahjalal Munshi tells reporters that the grenade blast took place on the road in front of the Gutatikor madrasa.  About 40 people were injured in the blast, including one Banu Das from the Kodomtoli area.6:58pm- Militants hurl a grenade around 6:30pm at crowds on the roadside. Our correspondent reports that at least one person has been injured.6:41pm- Brigadier General Fakhrul Ahsan informs the press that a total of 78 people were rescued from the building. He adds that militants had spread out through the building after planting IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) as traps.[caption id="attachment_54594" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Members of police and journalists near the Sylhet militant hideout Dhaka Tribune Members of police and journalists near the Sylhet militant hideout Dhaka Tribune[/caption]5:44pm- Brigadier General Fakhrul Ahsan in a short press briefing says that the operation is still ongoing and that journalists will be allowed to talk to the rescued families shortly.5:38pm- Osmani Medical College Emergency Medical Officer Dr Tanvir says a three member medical team has been dispatched to the area.5:34pm- Intense gun firing heard every one to two minutes, starting 4:56pm and persisting till 5:31pm. The commotion was mostly from the western side of the building. 5:20pm- Heavy gunfire heard from within the hideout.5:00pm- Three explosions heard from inside the building.4:11pm- A local named Shivul Malakar suffered a bullet injury when he peeked from a temple behind the building to see what was going on around 3pm. Osmani Medical College Emergency Medical Officer Dr Tanvir says the man has been shifted to surgery. There are unconfirmed reports that some of the para-commandos have been injured.3:45pm- More gunshots heard from "Atia Mahal".3:03pm- Smoke is seen billowing out from the eastern and western parts of the building.[caption id="attachment_54497" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Law enforcers looking at the militant hideout from a distanceDhaka Tribune Law enforcers looking at the militant hideout from a distance Dhaka Tribune[/caption]2:30pm- Several blasts are heard from inside the militant hideout.2:11pm- Gunshots are again heard  from inside the building.1:08pm- Around 70 people are evacuated from Atia Mahal and shifted to an adjacent building. Some of them were taken to a nearby school initially. The militants are suspected to have taken position in three flats of the building.12:29pm- A pregnant woman evacuated from the building is rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.12:07pm: All but the militant family have been evacuated from the building named "Atia Mahal", says an Army Intelligence Wing officer briefing media.[caption id="attachment_54598" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Army officers escort one of the rescued families from the Sylhet militant hideout Dhaka Tribune Army officers escort one of the rescued families from the Sylhet militant hideout Dhaka Tribune[/caption]11:34am- "Operation Twilight" underway, despite persistent drizzling.11:06am- Rescued families are being taken to Jahir Tahir Memorial High School. Army ambulances are in the area.10:05am- Several gunshots heard from inside the building.9:35am- Para-commandos are conducting the raid, code named Operation Twilight, led by 17 Infantry Division GOC Maj Gen Anwarul Momen PSC. Members of SWAT, RAB and regular police are controlling the outer perimeter.9:30am- Stranded families are being rescued from the building, says Rohmot Ullah Chowdhury.[caption id="attachment_54496" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Military APC stands alert on Sylhet-Fenchuganj roadDhaka Tribune Military APC stands alert on Sylhet-Fenchuganj road Dhaka Tribune[/caption]9:03am- Three armoured personnel carriers reach the spot.8:46am- Joint forces have started the operation at the militant hideout in Sylhet, says CTTC Assistant Commissioner Rohmot Ullah Chowdhury.8:40am- “Operation to start very soon,” Sylhet Metropolitan Police ADC Jedan Al Musa says.8:33am- Law enforcers place barricades on the Sylhet-Fenchuganj road as joint forces take position to storm the militant hideout.8:07am- About 15 vehicles, including four ambulances of Military Police, enter the area.8:00am (Saturday, March 25)- A team of 21 para-commandos reach the spot. Another para-commando team assessed the area last night. Meanwhile, the gas line to the Shibbari area has been disconnected from 7:40am.[caption id="attachment_54478" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Sylhetraid Military police reached the spot around 8am Saturday Dhaka Tribune[/caption]

7:37am- Rain stops. Joint forces are taking preparations to start the raid on the militant hideout.

7:08am- Police ask onlookers to keep a safe distance from the hideout and advise them to stay indoors.

6:00am- Raid delayed due to bad weather in Sylhet, says Jalalabad OC Akter Hossain.

4:00am (Saturday)- CTTC chief Monirul Islam reaches to the spot.

9:33pm- CTTC Assistant Commissioner Rohmot Ullah Chowdhury says that planning for the joint operation is in progress.

9:12pm- ISPR Director Lt Col Rashidul Hasan says a para-commando surveillance team is assessing the area around the two buildings prior to deciding what measures are necessary.8:57pm- ADC Jedan Al Musa says that 28 families are trapped in the five-storey building.8:50pm- Police deliver generator fuel to the four-storey building.7:53pm- Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) Assistant Director Rezaul Karim confirms to Dhaka Tribune that a para-commando surveillance team from the Jalalabad Commando Training Centre has been dispatched to the location. Sylhet Metropolitan Police Commissioner Golam Kibria says the team has already arrived and is assessing the area, while confirming that two children are inside the hideout.7:47pm- Our Bandarban Correspondent S Basu Das reports that the family of Jubaira Yasmin, the female militant arrested from Chittagong earlier this month, believes that their other daughter Manjiara Parvin may be in the Sylhet den.6:15pm- SWAT enter the evacuated four-storey building to investigate. CTTC Assistant Commissioner Rohmot Ullah Chowdhury says that the raid is yet to begin.6:00pm-  Two ambulances arrive on the scene.4:42pm- ADC Jedan Al Musa says: “Ten families were trapped in the five-storey building. Among them, three have been rescued.“We have completely evacuated the four-storey building which we had cordoned off earlier in the day. There are no militants there.”4:26pm- Another SWAT team and five members of the Bomb Disposal Unit arrive on the spot.3:53pm- A vehicle carrying seven to eight SWAT members arrive on the spot, reports Our Correspondent Mohammed Serajul Islam.3:39pm- SMP Jalalabad OC Akhtar Hossain tells the Dhaka Tribune: “A male shouted out from the building saying they want to talk to the SWAT team.”3:21pm- CTTC unit will reach the spot within 30 minutes, CTTC Assistant Commissioner Rohmot Ullah Chowdhury says.[arve url="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fsany.ahmed.758399%2Fvideos%2F1945778398990612%2F&show_text=0&width=560"/]3:17pm- Divisional Commissioner Nazmanara Khanam and Deputy Commissioner Rahat Anwar reach the spot.3:10pm- CTTC official Rohmot Ullah Chowdhury tells the Dhaka Tribune: “Some 40 to 50 SWAT are coming here to conduct the drive.”2:27pm- CTTC Assistant Commissioner Rohmot Ullah Chowdhury says SWAT is now in Habiganj.1:48pm- SMP Jalalabad police station Officer-in-Charge Akhtar Hossain tells the Dhaka Tribune: “A woman shouted out from the building saying they have chosen the path of Allah and do not fear the police.”[caption id="attachment_54327" align="aligncenter" width="800"]A snapshot of one of the buildings that has been cordoned off by the law enforcers DHAKA TRIBUNE A snapshot of one of the buildings that has been cordoned off by the law enforcers Dhaka Tribune[/caption]1:41pm- CTTC chief Monirul says after conducting drives in Chittagong, they got information that Musa along with some other JMB militants are in Sylhet.1:07pm- Sylhet Metropolitan Police Commissioner Golam Kibria says: “We are repeatedly asking the militants to surrender so that there are no causalities.”[caption id="attachment_54307" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Police have cordoned off two suspected militant hideout in Shibbari area on March 24, 2016 DHAKA TRIBUNE Police have cordoned off two suspected militant hideout in Shibbari area on March 24, 2016 Dhaka Tribune[/caption]12:52pm- Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) chief Monirul Islam says: “Sitakunda militant Kamal’s sister is inside one of the buildings with her newly married husband.“Her husband’s face and description matches with New JMB chief Musa. He might be inside of the building too but we are not sure.”Four militants--Kamal, Zubaira, Rafid and Ayad-- were killed in a raid at a building in Sitakunda last week. The latter two reportedly blew themselves up to avoid being arrested.
Also Read- Sitakunda militants identified
12:32pm- A total of 10 families are in the four-storey building.11:56am- Ustar Mia’s son Kausar Ahmed Ripon tells the Dhaka Tribune: “A man rented the third floor from us three months ago. He claimed to be an employee of a private company and had been staying here with his wife and a child.“He also used the identification card of one Morjina to rent the house.”11:40am- A top militant leader is suspected to be in one of the hideouts. However, we have not received confirmation.11:07am- Law enforcers start firing, targeting the militants in the five-storey building.[caption id="attachment_54319" align="aligncenter" width="800"]DHAKA TRIBUNE Law enforcers seen taking position on a road in front of the building where suspected militants are hiding Dhaka Tribune[/caption]10:31am- Police are yet to disclose details regarding the other suspected militant hideout.10:15am- Sylhet Metropolitan Police Commissioner Golam Kibria says: “We have cordon off two buildings of Ustar Mia.“We have come to know that more than two militants are hiding on the third floor of one of the buildings. Female militants are also there.”10:05am- OC Harun Ur Rashid says Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team is on their way from Dhaka.10am- South Surma police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Shah Harun Ur Rashid says: “We are prepared and will start the raid in a few minutes.”9:50am- Police, members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and Detective Branch (DB) of Police are taking preparations to start the raid.9:40am- ADC Jedan Al Musa says grenade explosions are heard inside the house.9:11am- Additional Deputy Commissioner of Sylhet Metropolitan Police Jedan Al Musa says: “We have cordoned off the house of one Ustar Mia since 3am.”8:30am- Police have cordoned off a suspected militant hideout in Shibbari area under Dakhin Surma since 3am. It is named Atia Mahal. The militants are reportedly on the ground floor of the house. People from the nearby houses have been evacuated. The local shops have remained closed.
The Police Headquarters has recently circulated a list of nearly 5,000 suspected militants to all district police chiefs and now a special drive is underway in Sylhet to apprehend them.