Athletic

Operation Twilight continues, case filed over Saturday explosions

SYLHET, March 27, 2017 (BSS) - The joint forces raid code named "Operation Twilight led by Bangladesh Army on a militant den at a five-storey residential house, Atia Mahal, at Shibbari area in Sylhet, has been continuing for the third consecutive day, today.

No fresh information about the raid has yet been released from army since Sunday evening as sporadic sounds of gunshots and explosions were heard from inside the hideout from 6.30am to 7am toady.

Earlier on Sunday evening, army spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Fakhrul Ahsan told newsmen, "Two militants were killed in the joint raid. There might be more militants inside the den and the raid is on."

Police has earlier enforced Section 144 (of Criminal Procedure Code) with two square kilometers areas to strictly barring people's entry within the vicinity for security following separate explosions near militant den at Shibbari that had killed six people including two policemen.

Sub Inspector (SI) Shiblu Chowdhury filed a case accusing unknown people over the explosions with Moglabazar Police Station on Sunday night. The number of the accused did not mentioned in the case. None was however arrested till filing the report.

Four bodies including two of policemen have already been handed over to the family inmates. Two other bodies have yet been handed over.

Law enforcers are yet to find out a person name Faruk who got admitted to the hospital with splinter injuries after explosions. Police suspects another person, who is now undergoing treatment at Osmani Medical College Hospital.

Talking to newsmen Additional Commissioner SM Rokonuddin told they have already handed over four bodies while rest two bodies will be handed over after holding talks with their family inmates.

"Investigation has already initiated to find out the culprits involved in the attack and we are also collecting information about the persons injured in the attack," he also said.

Police earlier asked people in the neighbourhood to keep a safe distance from the hideout and advised them to stay indoors as the army commandos led by a major general started the crackdown being assisted by police's SWAT, counter terrorism unit and RAB.

An army spokesman earlier said 78 ordinary residents including 27 women and 21 children were evacuated from the building within hours after the army intervened at the scene yesterday morning but they were yet not sure about the number of militants inside.

Officials said contrary to what was thought before that the militants were staying only on the ground floor, it now appeared they moved to different parts of the building planting improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as traps.

Earlier reports said at least two suspected militants including a female were inside on Atia Mahal's ground floor but security officials feared a "whole lot of them" could also be there as the crackdown began.

Witnesses said police repeatedly asked the couple, who were living in the building for the last three months as ordinary tenants, to surrender using megaphones but they visibly declined to comply with the call.

Police tracked down the Sylhet hideout less than a week after they cracked down two identical militant dens in Chittagong where four extremists were killed.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS