Two militants were killed during the army 's operation inside the terrorist haunt of Atia Mahal in Sylhet yesterday, while the raid to attack the Terrorists found there entered its third day, making it one of the longest antiterrorist operations.
However, the operation dubbed "Operation Twilight" was far from over as it was thought that more activists were still inside the five – story apartment
Pará's commandos take time because of the high risk of activists who planted a huge stockpile of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the building, mainly on the ground floor and staircase .
"We saw that two militants were killed. We assume that there could be one or more militants," said Brigadier General Fakhrul Ahsan, who briefed reporters on the operation In the afternoon yesterday.
"They [militants] are well trained and equipped," Fakhrul said, adding that terrorists knew how to make a place inaccessible. "This is why it takes time to complete the operation."
One of the two militants killed exploded his suicide jacket after being shot by the commandos, he added.
In explaining how terrorists are well trained, Fakhrul said that when the commandos charged grenades against the militants, they launched the grenades to the troops. The terrorists also set fire to protect themselves from tear gas.
This means that militants are trained to deal with such military operations.
"We're going to finish," he said, but he did not say how long it would take to put an end to the deadlock, which began around 1:30 am on Friday when The police sealed off the building in the town of Shibbari.
Before the briefing, a police source told the Daily Star that there could be four to five activists, including a woman, inside the apartment, which has about 150 rooms in thirty apartments
The army took charge of the police operation Saturday morning. On the first day of its operation, the army evacuated 78 residents of the building.
Two powerful bombs exploded Saturday night in two separate locations near the hiding place, killing two police officers and four civilians and wounding more than 40 others, including members of the police and Rab, as well as journalists
The terrorist group of the Islamic state took the merit of twin bomb attacks, said SITE Intelligence in the United States, quoting the agency's media agency Amaq
Police officers have been invited to remain vigilant and to strengthen security in police stations, police boxes and other important institutions across the country following the bombings
Interior Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said that a top militant leader could be inside the den
"The operation is still ongoing, nothing can be confirmed until it ends, but it seems that there is a leading militant leader" , He told reporters in the capital yesterday, without naming a militant group
He reiterated that there were no IS agents in the country. "We still have no trace of anyone here who belongs to the IS."
All this comes in the wake of two suspected suicide bombings – one in a Rab barracks in the capital and the other near a police station near the border, Dhaka airport – in one week. In both cases, only suspects of suicide bombing have died and IS has claimed responsibility for both.
The raid on Atia Mahal also comes a week after the police broke two hiding places in Chittagong. During one of the raids in the port city of Sitakunda on 16 March, four militants, including one woman, were killed. The woman was wearing a suicide vest, according to the police.
The abrupt escalation of violence occurred nearly a year after the siege of Gulshan, where militants killed 20 hostages, including 17 foreigners. The 12-hour clash ended when army commandos stormed the Holey Artisan Cafe and killed the five militants.
Since yesterday morning, the forces of the order have authorized not only the area of Shibbari but also a good radius of five kilometers of Atia Mahal.
People in these areas could not go about their daily business or buy essential items, including food. Many shops remained closed and the traffic was slim.
District Administration has imposed section 144 in the area, to prevent the gathering of more than five people in any location.
The first of the shots was heard around 9:50 and they lasted about five minutes. A huge explosion shook the area around 10:04 am in the fire for about 20 minutes.
Between 11:10 and 11:45, two more explosions occurred while shooting continued.
After a pause of about two hours, the shot began around 2:20 pm, followed by another huge explosion around 2:50 pm
Army troops took up positions on the north and south side of the building while the commandos were on the reverse.
An armored vehicle was placed at the entrance of the building.
The members of the police provided support to the troops.
Briefing reporters around 17:30 in an open field about 400 meters from the den, Brigadier General Fakhrul said that the main objective of their operation was to save the residents safely and that the commandos accomplished this work As soon as possible. "Our next target was to neutralize the militants, to keep our men safe, there is no hurry for that, and for this reason we are approaching carefully using various techniques."
"We have used different methods since the morning [yesterday]." First, we used rocket launchers to create a large hole in the building, we used explosives, but they did not work Not as well. "
Then the commandos used tear gas shells, when activists began to move inside the building
"When two of them fled to the ground floor, we shot at them and they collapsed. One of them detonated an attached suicide jacket To his body. "
He suspects that both are men.
Asked if the troops faced any resistance, he said the militants fired shots with light weapons and threw explosives and IEDs.
However, no member of the force was injured yesterday, he said.
On Saturday, two wounded army members were seen being taken, presumably for treatment, in an ambulance, although there was no official confirmation.
In response to a question, he said that there might also be female activists inside the den.
On the first day of the police operation called Spring Rain, police on Friday asked the militants to surrender using a speaker.
At this point, a woman yelled around 1:30 pm from an apartment window: "Bring SWAT quickly because you will not be able to do anything to us … We do not have a lot of time.
Police officers also heard calling him by Marjina, although it is not clear how they learned his name.
About the operation to save the tenants, Fakhrul said that they entered the building using ladders from the adjacent building. Before evacuating the residents of the fourth floor, they blocked the third floor to prevent a militant attack.
Applying the same strategy, they rescued the residents of the third, second and first floor.
It is unclear whether there are tenants on the ground floor where activists are supposed to be.