The heavily armed security forces surrounded the 5-storey building before dawn on Tuesday, after receiving a tip-off that the jihadists used it as a base.
The suspects threw a hand grenade at the police and tried to shoot their way out of the building, but were gunned down, officials said. They wore black tunics and yelled Alahu Akbar during the shootout, witnesses said.
“Nine Islamist militants were killed after two hour-long gunfight” deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Masud Ahmed told the AFP news agency, adding that one more suspect was wounded and arrested.
The police found student IDs on the bodies and were now checking to see if they were genuine.
Keeping terror in Bangladesh
The 25-year old survivor said the militants were followers of the “Islamic State,” according to an unnamed police official.
“His name is Hasan. He said they are ‘IS’ members,” the official added.
However, national police chief Shahidul Hoque said that the militants were likely part of a local militia.
“We have not found any evidence about any connection with the ‘IS.’ They are members of a local group, JMB (Jumataul Mujahedeen of Bangladesh), I think,” he said.
New ‘incident’ planned
The “Islamic State” group has claimed many recent attacks in the Muslim-majority country, including a restaurant siege earlier this month that killed 22 people, mostly foreigners. The terror organization also
published pictures of the carnage before the end of siege.
Still, Dhaka authorities have repeatedly denied that groups such as the “Islamic State” or al Qaeda are active in the 160-million-strong nation. The
restaurant attack was blamed on the JMB.
After the Tuesday raid, police chief Shahidul Hoque said the group was preparing another attack from their fourth-floor hideout.
“From police intelligence sources we learnt that they were planning to carry out a major incident. We conducted the operation to foil any such incident,” he said.
dj/xx (AP, AFP, dpa)