The four-day-long battle of attrition between militants and para-commandos in Shibbari of South Surma, Sylhet neared its official conclusion on Monday, as four dead bodies were recovered from the hideout.
Military intelligence unit Director Brig Gen Fakhrul Ahsan, representative of Bangladesh Army for this operation, said that of the four bodies, all suspected militants, three were male and one was female.
Brig Gen Fakhrul made the statement at 7:30pm on Monday in a press briefing near the Atia Mahal hideout.
The military intelligence unit director added that it was unlikely that there were more militants inside the building. However, the operation could not be declared as officially concluded as there were still numerous live explosives planted within the hideout.
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A group of armed para-commandos and RAB personnel form a perimeter around the militant hideout at Pathanpara in Shibbari, Sylhet, on Saturday ISPR
Furthermore, Sylhet Metropolitan Police (SMP) Additional Commissioner Rokon Uddin said at the briefing that the body of the female militant and one male militant had been handed over to police. The other two bodies were yet to be handed over as they were still wearing suicide vests that needed to be diffused.
Rokon added that the two bodies that were handed over had been sent to MAG Osmani Medical College for post mortem examination.
Later, an official of Sylhet Metropolitan Police said that the two deceased were identified as Morjina and Kawsar.
Morjina’s ID was used to rent the flat, and she is also suspected to be the sister of Kamal, one of the deceased New JMB militants from the recent raid in Sitakunda. However, police are as yet unclear as to whether these are the real names of the two militants.
Earlier in the day, SMP Additional Deputy Commissioner Jedan Al Musa said that police had handed over the bodies of Shahidul Islam and Khadim Shah, two motorcyclists suspected to have conducted the bombing outside Atia Mahal on Saturday, to their families after collecting DNA samples. A case has been filed against unnamed accused regarding the attack.
ADC Jedan Al Musa told reporters that the raid was still under way at 8:45am on Monday. Two huge explosions were heard from the hideout around 10:30am. Sporadic gunfire and further explosions from the building could be heard up to one kilometre away, where reporters were stationed after Saturday’s attack.
The sounds of explosions and gunfire stopped around 4pm. Subsequently, a team from the Criminal Investigation Department was seen heading towards Atia Mahal at around 5:30pm. A team from the Civil Surgeon’s Office would follow an hour later.
Later, SMP Deputy Commissioner South Basu Dev Bonik confirmed that SMP Commissioner Golam Kibria entered the building along with the SMP additional commissioner and the commando team around 5pm.