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Iran Press TV

10 suspected militants arrested in Bangladesh amid crackdown

Iran Press TV

Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:37PM

Police in Bangladesh have made 10 fresh arrests as a crackdown on members of an outlawed militant group widens across the country.

Security officials said on Monday that six young men, aged between 19 and 23, had been arrested overnight in a raid on their hideouts in the capital Dhaka.

Police counter-terrorism chief Monirul Islam said the six had been plotting to kill a top Islamic scholar during the current holy month of Ramadan. He said the outspoken cleric, whose name was not disclosed, was known for his criticism of Takfiri ideologies.

Islam said the suspected militants had been closely watching the scholar's house and the plan to kill him was going ahead. He added that all those arrested were members of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), a banned group which is routinely blamed by the government for attacks on bloggers, publishers, writers, members of minority groups and foreigners.

Later reports said the suspects would be kept in custody for interrogation as police received authorization from a judge in Dhaka.

Police also carried out a raid on a militant hideout in a northwestern district of Dhaka on Monday. Three people were arrested in the raid while police seized explosives and guns. Also a writer, whose works are believed to have inspired young people to join militant groups, was arrested earlier in the day.

Bangladesh insists that the JMB was behind a deadly siege on a restaurant in Dhaka's diplomatic zone last July. Twenty people, including 17 foreigners, were killed in the attack claimed by the Daesh terrorist group. The Takfiri group, which is mainly operating in the Middle East, has vowed to carry out other attacks in Bangladesh.

Some 60 suspected militants have been killed across Bangladesh in the crackdown launched since the hostage-taking in the restaurant. The government has vowed to continue the crackdown until it crushes militancy in the South Asian country.

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