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PUBLISHED: Mar 18, 2017 11:58am

High alert at Bangladesh airports, hotels after suicide blast

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Source: Bernama Source:
Bernama

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DHAKA, 18 March 2017:

A high alert has been put on strategically important places including airports and prisons in Bangladesh following a “suicide blast” at the proposed headquarters of the country’s elite force Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) in capital Dhaka yesterday.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police have reportedly carried out searches in many important places and also asked five-star hotels and restaurants to beef up security.

Special force personnel in plainclothes were deployed at many landmark spots and foreign companies in the city.

A Home Ministry official said security measures have been beefed up at all prisons across the country. Guards have been asked to rigorously screen prisoners before taking them into prisons, he said.

Bangladesh’s Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry spokesman Mahbubur Rahman Tuhin said additional precautions have been taken at every airport including Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport following the terror attack reportedly by the Daesh militants.

A suicide bomber died and two cops were injured as the bomb the suspected militant was carrying exploded when he was being intercepted by law enforcers yesterday in Bangladesh’s capital.

An official from Dhaka Metropolitan Police said the suspected bomber died in what is believed to be a suicide attack.

He said the bomber tried to enter a temporary camp in place of proposed headquarters of Bangladesh’s elite force RAB near Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka at about 1:30pm local time yesterday.

When challenged by the law enforcers, the bomb he was carrying exploded. The official said the bomber died on the spot and two RAB men were injured slightly.

The incident took place a day after Bangladesh law enforcers stormed a militant hideout at Sitakunda on the outskirts of the country’s seaport city Chittagong, some 242km southeast of Dhaka.

Five – including four militants of Neo-JMB (an offshoot of the banned militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh) – were killed during the raid.

At least two of them reportedly blew themselves up in suicide explosions and two others were shot by law enforcers.

Neo-JMB has been blamed for an attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka’s diplomatic quarter last July, in which 20 hostages, mostly foreigners, were killed.

In the wake of the Dhaka cafe attack, Bangladeshi law enforcers have conducted series of such big operations against militants.

Bangladeshi police further said they shot dead a suspected militant and foiled his attack on a RAB check-post in Dhaka this morning.

A Dhaka Metropolitan Police official said a man riding a speeding motorcycle tried to intrude into the check post of RAB in Dhaka’s Khilgaon area with explosives around 4.35am local time.

“He was shot dead on the spot.” The man carried explosives in his bag, said the official, adding that “we’ve called a bomb disposal unit to check the bag.”

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