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Bangladesh: Militant accused of Eid attack killed in ‘gunfight’

world Updated: Aug 06, 2016 01:44 IST

Highlight Story

File photo of Bangladeshi policemen arriving near the scene of a blast in Kishoreganj, Bangladesh, July 7, 2016. Shafiul Islam, a suspect in the attack, was killed in a ‘gun fight’ on August 5, when terrorists attacked a police van carrying him. (AP)

An Islamist extremist, accused of murdering a Hindu priest earlier this year and carrying a deadly attack on Bangladesh’s biggest Eid gathering, was killed in a ‘gun fight’ when terrorists attacked a police van transporting him, police said on Friday.

Shafiul Islam, 22, was being driven to a police station on Thursday when the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) vehicle was attacked by terrorists.

A second person, who was an associate of Shafiul and was among those who attacked the RAB convoy, was also killed in the attack.

Shafiul was a suspect in the Sholakia Eid congregation attack in Kishoreganj. RAB personnel had detained Shafiul with a bullet wound right after the attack.

He was also one of the three motorcycle-borne assailants who killed priest Jagneshwar Roy, 50, with sharp weapons in the early hours of February 21, Daily Star reported.

Roy headed the Santo Gaurio temple at Panchagarh’s Debiganj.

A RAB official said Shafiul had been undergoing treatment at Mymensingh Medical College Hospital (MMCH) under RAB custody since he was arrested. After doctors discharged him on Thursday, he was being taken to Kishoreganj to be handed over to the police, he said.

Three security personnel were also injured in the clashes and two motorcycles, arms and bullets were recovered from the spot.

Bombs exploded near an Eid prayer gathering in Sholakia in northern Kishoreganj district on July 7 where at least 200,000 people had gathered. Four persons, including two policemen and a Hindu woman, were also killed in the attack.

Shafiul was a member of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (JMB), which is accused of carrying out a wave of killings of foreigners and religious minorities.