Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Suspects killed in Nakhalpara anti-terror raid were JMB operatives, says RAB

  • Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2018-01-12 18:02:16 BdST

bdnews24

The three terror suspects killed during Friday’s raid on a 'militant hideout' in Dhaka’s Nakhalpara were operatives of banned outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh or JMB, says the Rapid Action Battalion.

“The dead suspects are aged between 25 and 27 years. Their identities are yet to be confirmed, but according to our intel, they were JMB activists,” said Mufti Mahmud Khan, the spokesperson of the elite police unit.

Speaking to the media after wrapping up the raid in the afternoon, he said other residents of the six-storey building, some hundred yards from the Prime Minister’s Office, were safe.

Khan said they were questioning the building’s caretaker Rubel for information  on the suspects.

“He told us that on Dec 28,  man identifying himself as Jahid came to rent one of the rooms in the fourth floor flat. Jahid told him that he worked for a private firm and that he will be living with his two brothers.”

Jahid moved in the room on Jan 4 and the two others on Jan 8. The other two rooms in the flat had been occupied by four people, according to the RAB Legal and Media Wing director.

Two national IDs with pictures of suspect Jahid were found in the room. The name on one of them was Jahid and the other one Shajib.

“Jahid used to leave early morning and come back late. No-one could say anything about the others.” Khan said. The raid was conducted based on intelligence inputs of militants using it as a hideout for attacks on key installations.

Three out of the four flats on the top two floors of the building were rented out to bachelors, housing 20 to 21 people. More than 60 people lived in the ten flats, he said.

A siege was laid on the six-storey building in West Nakhalpara, a few hundred yards from the PMO, in the wee hours of Friday. Local residents said heavy gunfire was heard early in the morning.

RAB said later in the day that three bodies were found inside a room of a flat on the fourth floor.

Spokesperson Khan said the raid ended around 3:30pm after the bomb disposal unit, crime scene investigators and forensic experts finished their work.

He said three IEDs (improvised explosive devices) as many suicide vests, 14 detonators, four units of explosive gel and two pistols have been found in the room.

RAB personnel guard the street leading to a terror hideout on Friday in Dhaka's Nakhalpara, where three suspected militants were killed in a predawn raid. Photo: asif mahmud ove

“It seems they were aiming for a large-scale explosion as an IED was found on the gas burner in the kitchen. But the gas supply to the building was disconnected before the raid,” he said adding such an explosion could have caused a major damage.

The landlord, Shah Mohammad Sabbir Hossain is a flight purser with the Biman Bangladesh Airlines, senior RAB official Khan said

The 55-year-old was on a flight duty during the raid and was yet to return, he added.