Bangladesh Islamists blow themselves up, ending standoff
Dhaka (AFP) – Four suspected Islamist fighters blew themselves up at a hideout in Bangladesh, ending a 24-hour standoff, police said Friday.
Police raided the house in the northern town of Shibganj late Wednesday on a tip-off that extremists were hiding out there, triggering a tense standoff that ended with explosions and gunfire late Thursday.
“The four militants from JMB blew themselves up with a bomb explosion,” local police chief Mujahidul Islam told AFP, referring to the banned Islamist group Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh.
“We asked them to surrender multiple times but there was no response.”
Islam said police had arrested the wife of one of the men, who was in custody with her six-year-old daughter.
The Bangladesh government blames the JMB for a wave of deadly attacks against religious minorities and foreigners in the Muslim-majority country.
These include a major attack on a Dhaka cafe last year in which 22 people were killed, most of them foreigners.
The Islamic State group claimed that attack and several others, but Dhaka insists they were the work of homegrown Islamist groups.