Bangladesh arrests 6 suspected militants from banned group

By The Canadian Press
August 10, 2016 - 6:38am

NEW DELHI — Authorities in Bangladesh's capital said Wednesday that they have arrested six suspected members of a banned Islamist group blamed for recent deadly attacks, including one last month that killed 20 people.

The arrests were made in separate overnight raids in Dhaka, said Mufti Mahmud Khan, spokesman for the Rapid Action Battalion elite anti-crime force. He said the suspects belong to the outlawed group Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh.

The group is blamed for the July 1 attack on a restaurant in Dhaka that killed 20 people, including 17 foreigners. It also is blamed for a July 7 attack on a major Eid prayer gathering north of Dhaka that left four people dead, including two police officers.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the restaurant attack, but authorities have denied that, saying it was the act of Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh, and that the IS has no presence in the Muslim-majority country.

Khan said the arrested suspects told authorities during interrogation that they were preparing for another attack in Dhaka. During the raids, security officers recovered two pistols, five grenades, a dozen small bombs, 13 detonators, four meat cleavers, five knives and bomb-making materials, he said.

One of the arrested men, Mustafizur Rahman, was identified by officials at a news conference as the administrator of a website run by Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh that was used to promote radical ideas.

Rahman also was said to be involved with Dawatul Islam Bangladesh, a group that allegedly recruits members for JMB and is accused of being involved in at least 11 recent attacks, including the restaurant attack.

The Associated Press

©2016 The Canadian Press

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