Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday promised to intensify a nationwide anti-terror clampdown, a day after a Hindu priest was hacked to death by IS jihadists in Bangladesh which has seen a series of brutal attacks by Islamists on minorities and secular activists.
“If they (militants) think they could turn Bangladesh upside down, they are wrong... they will be exposed to justice in the soil of Bangladesh and their patrons will also not be spared,” Hasina said in the parliament.
She said the security forces would continue to track down the militants anywhere in the country and they would be exposed to justice even if it takes years or decades. Hasina comments came after three operatives of the outlawed Jamaat ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) were killed in two predawn security raids early on Tuesday in Dhaka and north-western Rajshahi while another member of the outfit was killed overnight at Shibganj sub-district in north west Bogra.
“We raided the village in Shibganj after midnight yesterday on a secret tip... they (JMB men) opened fire and hurled bombs sensing our presence at the scene forcing us to retaliate when Jausar (slain militant) was killed,” said a police officer in Bogra. A senior police officer familiar with the crackdowns said two of the slain JMB operatives were being looked for attack on a Shiite Mosque last year in Bogra and “one of them was killed on Wednesday in Shibganj while the other was killed in Dhaka’s Kalshi area.”
The intensified clampdown call comes as the country witnesses a wave of deadly attacks on secular activists and minorities by militants. A 70-year-old Hindu priest became the second person from the community to be killed by three suspected Islamic State jihadists this year in the country. The priest was hacked to death by motorcycle-borne men in western Jhinaidah on Tuesday.