The Dhaka Police on 6 January confirmed that two Islamist militants, including one of the masterminds of last year's terror attack at a popular cafe in Dhaka, were killed in a gunfight with the police in Bangladesh during a pre-dawn raid on Friday.
Neo-Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen's wanted leader Nurul Islam alias Marjan and another unidentified extremist were killed by Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit in Mohammadpur Beribadh area of the capital.
"One is identified as Marjan and another still unknown," Monirul Islam, chief of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, confirmed the incident to The Daily Star.
According to the police, Marjan coordinated the 1 July attack on Gulshan's Holey Artisan Bakery that killed 22 people, including an Indian. A group of militants stormed the Bakery and took the restaurant staff hostage. The attackers had confrontations with police and two police officials were killed in the attack. On 2 July, a joint commando force stormed the bakery, killing all the attackers and rescuing the captives, ending the terror siege of nearly 11 hours.
"Acting on a tip-off, we conducted a raid around 3 am...Sensing our presence, the militants opened fire at us. In retaliation, we fired back that left the two injured," Monirul said. Later, they were declared dead when taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
According to an investigator, former Islami Chhatra Shibir leader Marjan was the youngest military commander of the Neo-JMB, a new faction of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) affiliated with Islamic State, Dhaka Tribune reported.
The Investigation agencies had earlier found that a consignment of AK-22 rifles along with other weapons was delivered to militants in mango baskets a month before the terror attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery in the upscale suburb of Gulshan in Dhaka.
The attackers used three AK-22 rifles in the Gulshan attack, whereas another rifle was used for the security of New Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) chief Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, reports the Dhaka Tribune.
- With PTI inputs