The three bombs that were intended to be set off during the procession at Bangabandhu Memorial Museum, to mark National Mourning Day, on Tuesday, had a blast radius of 45 metres, said police.
Bomb Disposal Unit (BDU) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) said the bombs were of mid-range capacity that could kill more than 20 people in close proximity and even more depending on the density of the crowd.
Militant Saiful Islam, 20, blew himself up being found out by police, at Hotel Olio International in Panthapath, just a stone’s throw from Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in Dhanmondi road 32 after a raid at 9:35am.
CTTC officials said, the militant planned to join the procession leading to the memorial museum at Dhanmondi 32 and either carry the bombs in the suitcase or wear them on a suicide vest.
Speaking to the media, CTTC Chief Md Monirul Islam said: “The militant planned to carry out an attack wearing a suicide vest or leaving the suitcase there to create the maximum amount of damage.”
BDU measured the effectiveness of the bombs after the raid and defused one of them at the site. They said the bomb contained lesser amounts of splinters and other destructive materials than those typically found in New JMB bombs.
BDU also said that since it was not very crowded at the memorial museum in the morning the bomb might have killed 15-20 people but would have also seriously injured more than 100.
The BDU’s Additional Deputy Commissioner Sanwar Hossain told Dhaka Tribune: “The bomb that we defused was less powerful than to two bombs that went off. They were brought into the hotel in a suitcase and Saiful blew them up trying to hold back the police. We however, have successfully foiled his plans.”
Inspector General of Police Shahidul Hoque said, based on information, security agencies personnel visited the area and finally cordoned off Hotel Olio International opposite Square Hospitals at Panthapath on Monday night.