Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Three militants blew themselves up following a security crackdown at their hideout in Bangladesh’s northwestern Chapainawabjag district bordering India, officials said on Tuesday.
The incident took place as security was stepped up ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to the country from November 30 to December 2, reports The Hindu.
A fire broke out at the tin-and-bamboo structure after a firefight and explosions, said Mahabub Alam, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)-5 Commanding Officer.
The bodies of the three suspected militants were found by a bomb disposal unit among the debris after the fire died out, the official said.
Two pistols, three grenades, eight detonators and various bomb-making materials were recovered from inside the location, said RAB Media Wing Director Commander Mufti Mahmud Khan.
The elite anti-crime RAB has detained the building owner’s wife Nazma Begum, her father Khorshed Alam and mother Minara Begum from a village for questioning.
“We have wrapped up the operation… three bodies were found at the scene,” Mr. Mahmud said.
He said the three militants blew themselves up that also resulted in burning down of their den, a hay-made hut, defying calls for surrender this morning.
Officials said the Islamists rented the house at a remote shoal of the Padma river along the Indian border 15 days ago and identified them as migratory bird watchers.
Officials and witnesses said the scene was handed over to police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for collecting evidence for subsequent legal actions.
People in the neighboiurhood said two of the presumed militants were seen roaming around the area for the past several weeks and claimed that they were NGO workers.
RAB officials said they located the militant hideout based on information provided by militants captured earlier.