DHAKA Bangladesh detained 3 suspected members of a banned militant group, police said on Sunday, as safety forces step up a hunt for Islamists behind a spate of current attacks.
Bangladesh has suffered from a wave of Islamist violence, with two foreigners, 4 secular writers and a publisher killed this year. Some of the attacks have been claimed by Islamic State.
The three males, who had been active members of the banned Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, have been caught in an overnight raid in the capital, Dhaka, Monirul Islam, a police joint commissioner, told reporters, as the handcuffed men have been paraded just before the media.
A mobile telephone network jammer and jihadi books have been identified in their possession, Islam said. Preliminary investigation showed the jammer was used during meetings to stay away from leaking info, he mentioned.
The group was believed to be behind a series of recent attacks, which includes bombings of a Shi’ite shrine and the killing of a policemen, police said.
Tension has been increasing in Bangladesh given that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched a crackdown on militants, placing many leaders on trial for war crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence.
Islamic State also claimed responsibility for an attack late last month on a Shi’ite Muslim mosque that killed a cleric and wounded 3 other folks at prayers, the second attack on the country’s tiny Shia Muslim neighborhood in a month.
The government has denied that Islamic State has a presence in the nation. It blames Islamist political opponents for instigating the violence.
(Reporting by Ruma Paul, edting by Larry King)