6 killed, scores injured in twin blasts in Bangladesh

Bangladesh blast

Dhaka, March 26: At least six persons, including two police officials, lost lived and more than 40 people sustained injuries in two deadly blasts on Saturday near a militant hideout in Sylhet city, some 240 km from capital Dhaka, local police said.

Sylhet Metropolitan Police Additional Deputy Commissioner Zedan Al Musa confirmed the death toll to bdnews24.com early on Sunday.

The explosions took place a day after a suicide bomber blew himself up at a security checkpoint near the country’s main airport in Dhaka in an attack claimed by Islamic State.

Among injured critically wounded include Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) Intelligence chief who has been airlifted to Dhaka for better treatment.

One of the injured persons, Gulzar Ahmed, told bdnews24.com at the hospital that some passersby stopped a person who was carrying a black polythene bag.

The first blast took place around 7:00 p.m. yesterday about 400 metres off the five-storey building where the militants were holed up. It targeted the huge crowd witnessing the operation codenamed ‘Twilight’ and policemen deployed there.

“The firt blast occurred just after he defended himself by saying that there was red spinach in the bag. Five to six people were injured in the explosion,”  the officer said.

“Another large explosion occurred in front of the hideout an hour later when police and RAB rushed to the scene. Around 25 people were injured in the second blast,” he added.

Six people including two police officers were killed in the attack. The dead included two police inspectors and four onlookers, two of them being college students.

According to the Witnesses, two people riding a motorcycle ‘carried out an explosion’ at one end of the street where the militant hideout is located.

The blasts came within an hour of a media briefing on a raid at the militant hideout in which an army spokesperson said the commandos were storming a complex housing two buildings — one five-storey and the other four-storey.

Mediapersons and onlookers in the area were directed to move at least a kilometre away when troops from the Para-Commando Battalion began the assault on Saturday morning to round off a 30-hour siege to the complex.

Police said the militants rented a flat some months ago. The 30 families residing in as many other units of the buildings were trapped during the raid.

The commandos have rescued 78 people from the building, which the army spokesperson said was their priority.

 Wefornews Bureau

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