B'desh army kills all 4 militants inside Sylhet building
Bangladesh army on Monday said it has neutralised all four Islamist militants, including a woman, who were holed up in a building after four days of siege in the northeastern Sylhet city, even as the 'Operation Twilight' continued to secure the site.
"We've found four bodies inside the building. All are with suicide vests," Brig General Mohammad Fakhrul Ahsan told reporters at a news briefing at the end of the fourth day of the security siege of the five-storey building 'Atia Mahal'.
"Our intelligence earlier suggested four militants, one being a woman, were inside the building...So we assume that no militant was alive anymore," Ahsan said.
He, however, said the 'Operation Twilight' has not ended.
The army is planning how to recover the bodies of the militants from the building, he said.
Ten persons, including four militants, have been killed in the operation that lasted for four days in this city, about 236 km from the capital Dhaka.
The identity of the slain militants were not established.
However, officials had earlier indicated that Jamaat-ul- Mujahideen Bangladesh chief Musa could be inside the building.
The neo-JMB, said to be inclined to the Islamic State, was behind the July 1 terror attack on a Dhaka cafe in which 22 people, including 17 foreigners, were killed.
The building is very risky as a huge cache of explosives including improvised explosive devices have been found scattered inside its premises, he said, adding that "the building will collapse if all these were to explode." Of the four militants, two including a woman were killed today, he said.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal had said earlier in the day that commandos could wrap up their assault any time. "We expect the operation to end anytime, defeating the militants there," he said, adding that the para-commandos "proceeded slowly to minimise casualties" at the scene.
Earlier, fire broke out at the building occupied by the Islamist militants. Large gusts of smoke were seen coming out of the ground floor around 3:40 PM (local time). Fire fighters rushed to the scene and controlled the flames.