May 7, 2017 / 10:39 AM / 2 years ago

Two suspected militants killed in police raid in Bangladesh

DHAKA (Reuters) - Two suspected militants blew themselves up on Sunday when counter-terrorism police stormed a house in western Bangladesh, police said, the latest in a series of raids on Islamist hideouts.

Police said the two men killed themselves by detonating explosives as officers launched an early morning raid in a village in Jhenidah district, about 100 miles (160 km) west of the capital Dhaka after a tip-off.

Two police officers were also seriously injured as the militants opened fire and exploded bombs, district police chief Mizanur Rahman told reporters.

Rahman said they were members of a faction of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh group, known as New JMB, blamed for a spate of deadly attacks targeting foreigners and religious minorities in the Muslim-majority country of 160 million.

New JMB has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State jihadist group, which claimed responsibility for an attack on a cafe in Dhaka’s diplomatic quarter last July in which 22 people were killed, most of them foreigners.

Police and army commandos have killed nearly 70 suspected militants and arrested hundreds since the attack on the cafe.

Al Qaeda and Islamic State have also claimed responsibility for some of other attacks in Bangladesh over the past few years but the government has denied the presence of such groups, blaming domestic militants instead.

Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Ros Russell

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