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4 dead after blast, shooting at Bangladesh Eid prayers


Dhaka : Radical Islamists hurled crude bombs and engaged in a shootout with police in Bangladesh today that killed three people, including two policemen, and a terrorist at the country’s biggest Eid gathering nearly a week after the deadly attack on a Dhaka cafe that left 22 people dead.

Bombs exploded near an Eid prayer gathering in Sholakia in northern Kishoreganj district where at least 200,000 people had gathered, police said.

Police said one constable was dead and at least 13 others were injured. A second policeman later succumbed to his wounds on way to hospital in neighbouring Mymensingh.

A woman was also killed during the shootout while she was witnessing the incident from the window of her house near the scene, the Prothom Alo newspaper reported.

One suspected attacker was also killed in the exchange of fire with police at the blast site as roads in the area were cordoned off.

“One suspect has been held and about 13 injured,” said Abu Sayem, additional superintendent of police in Kishoreganj.

Local reports said six to seven people led the attack with sharp weapons on policemen when they were frisking people entering the Eidgah ground.

Kishoreganj ASP Obaidul Hasan said the blasts spread panic among thousands who were beginning to gather near the ground, but the prayers were not disrupted, bdnews24.com reported.

“That was probably a crude bomb. The facts are still unclear,” he said.

The incident comes close on the heels of last week’s deadly attacks in Dhaka which killed over 22 people mostly foreigners including a 19-year-old Indian girl.

The Islamic State (IS) terror group yesterday issued a new chilling video warning the Bangladesh government of more attacks in the country and across the world until Shariah law is established globally, saying last week’s gruesome attack here was just “a glimpse”.

The video message believed to be issued from Raqqa, the stronghold of the terror group in strife-torn Syria was released on YouTube.

Islamist gunmen stormed a popular restaurant in Dhaka’s posh diplomatic enclave late on Friday killing 22 people, most of them foreigners from Italy, Japan, India and the US in an attack claimed by the Islamic State.

The IS video has gone viral on social media among Bangladeshis still recovering from the shock of the brutal slaughter of 20 hostages and two police officers in Dhaka.

Police said two suspected attackers have been detained as a massive manhunt was underway to nab the militants in the neighbourhood with mobilisation of extra forces.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at an Eid reception at her residence said, “Those who are carrying out assaults even in Eid congregations, are enemies of Islam and humanity”.

She urged parents and school authorities to report to police if their sons or students had gone missing since the Dhaka attack was carried out by youths who went missing several months ago.

“We will you to track them down using modern technology, if required they will be given treatment in specialised facilities,” she said.

Meanwhile the imam of the Eid congregation which was attacked today Maulana Fariduddin Massoud, who is said to have earned the militants’ wrath by spearheading a massive anti-Islamist campaign with Islamic scholars and imams, appealed for a “social resistance” against the militants.

“Their (militants) aim is to create panic among the people to weaken the natural social resistance. But I call upon the people not to panic which will only benefit the militants’ goal and instead wage a social resistance against the extremists,” he said.

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