Published:  12:00 AM, 20 March 2017

Synchronized attacks were planned: Cop

After four eventful days when law enforcers busted militant dens in port city while the militants attacked RAB outposts in the capital, police have come to know that militants were planning simultaneous attacks in Dhaka and Chittagong. Police officials have come to an understanding  after analyzing the information gathered from a militant couple arrested in Chittagong and types of suicide vests used as the munitions in Chittagong and during the attack on RAB in Dhaka, reports

Police's Additional Deputy Inspector General (Chittagong Range) Sakhawat Hossain told this correspondent on Saturday that the attacks on RAB in Dhaka just after the raids on militant dens in Chittagong "Prove that more than one group are active now". 

"The suicidal vests used in Sitakunda and Dhaka were similar. It seems to review the incidents that they had plans to carry out attacks in different places in Dhaka and Chittagong soon," he said. Informed by the landlord, police raided a house at Namar Bazar in Chittagong's  Sitakunda and arrested a couple Wednesday afternoon.

Hours later, the law enforcers came under attack while raiding another house in adjacent Premtala area following the information was given by the couple. The raid ended after 19 hours on Thursday morning through the death of two suspects in a suicide blast and two others in police assault at the final stage of the operation. A child also died in the explosion.

On Friday, just before Juma prayers, a suicide bomber died in a blast during an attack on a RAB camp in Dhaka's Ashkona located near the airport. Two personnel of the elite force were injured, not seriously, though. Another suspect was caught in the area and died of 'cardiac arrest' in custody, RAB said.

Within a day of the attack, on Saturday morning, a suicide attacker was killed after RAB opened fire to foil an assault on a security check-post at Khilgaon in Dhaka. Sakhawat said two suspects, identified as 'Hridoy' and 'Rashed', left the Namar Bazar house with a laptop immediately before the raid began on Wednesday.

According to the landlord, Subhas Chandra Das, the eldest of the two was around 25 years old while the other was a 15-year-old boy. Subhas also said the tenants aroused suspicion when he saw a huge amount of electronic equipment and circuits at the flat.

"The youth of 25 to 26 years of age was working with the equipment. He has a laptop at the time," he added. The couple arrested from the house have been identified as 'Jashim' and 'Arjina'. Those killed in the Premtala raid also included a couple identified by police as Kamal Uddin and 'Jobaida'. Both the couples are from Baishari of Naikkhyangchharhi in Bandarban, police said.

Additional DIG Sakhawat said the group of militants were in Chittagong's Potia three months before renting the houses in Sitakunda. "There are many development projects underway in Mirsharai and Sitakunda. Many foreigners work in those projects. "We suspect the militants wanted to carry out simultaneous attacks in Dhaka and Chittagong to bar development work," Sakhawat said.

Police's bomb disposal unit searched another room of the flat in Premtala on Saturday and found 15 strong bombs and a huge amount of bomb-making materials, Chittagong Superintendent of Police Noore Alam Mina, said. Six drums full of liquids were also discovered in the room. One of those contains acid while the others hydrogen peroxide.

Two more rooms in the flat are yet to be searched. "We are conducting the search very carefully because the bombs are very powerful," the SP said. Four suicidal vests and six bombs were found in the house after the raid ended on Thursday. Sakhawat said the words-'Daulatul Islam' were written on the wall of the flat. "We are emphasizing this matter in our investigation," he added.        

-AA News Desk

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