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Six Islamist militants held in B`desh: Report

Last Updated: Monday, August 3, 2009 - 13:09

Dhaka: Authorities in Bangladesh have arrested six members of the banned militant outfit Harkatul Jihad Islami, amid fears that insurgents were trying to regroup in the country.
In a coordinated anti-terror drive, the elite Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested the six suspected militants, including two leaders, following intelligence inputs about insurgents planning subversive activities in the country.

Belonging to the Harkatul Jihad Islami (HuJI), they were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment along with 35 others in 1998. The militants were untraced for eight years since they were freed on bail soon after the BNP-Jamaat-led alliance assumed power in 2001, The Daily Star newspaper said.

RAB arrested two suspected militants from the capital, one in Feni and three in Chittagong and Cox`s Bazar, it said.

According to sources, some of the 41 fugitive came under the spotlight following recent intelligence reports about their attempt to smuggle arms into the country through Naikhangchhari border for subversive activities.

The two arrested at Nababer Bagh in the capital have been identified as Abul Khaer, 40, of Manikganj and Moulana Mohammad Musa, 38, of Chandpur. The four others are Abdul Aziz, 45, of Feni, Razaul Karim, 40, and Anwar Uddin Zaved of Chakaria in Cox`s Bazar and Abdullah Al Hossain of Banshkhali in Chittagong, the report said.

"We gathered information that the HuJI members tried to smuggle in firearms through Zarullachhari at Naikhangchhari in Bandarban, and were recruiting people to strengthen the organisation," a top unnamed RAB official was quoted as saying by the Bangladeshi daily.

The HuJI was blamed for attempting to kill former British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury at a Muslim shrine in northeastern Sylhet town in May 2005.

Choudhury was injured and but three people including his bodyguard were killed. About 50 other people thronging the shrine, 300 km (187 miles) from the capital, at the time were also hurt.

Earlier in August, 2004, HuJI in a grenade attack killed 23 people and wounded some 150 others in Dhaka at a rally attended by then opposition leader Sheikh Hasina.

A Dhaka court today ordered further investigations into the attacks that had injured Hasina.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, August 3, 2009 - 13:09
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