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21 women militants held in B'desh: report

world Updated: Apr 23, 2009 15:47 IST

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Security forces in Bangladesh on Thursday arrested 22 suspected militants, most of them women, in a raid in southwestern Barisal district soon after enforcing stepped up vigil around foreign missions following threats from Islamist extremists.

The elite Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested 22 suspected militants, including 21 women, while they were holding a meeting early this morning in the district town, 117-km north of the capital, The Daily Star newspaper said.

Lt Commander K M Mamunur Rashid of Rab-8 told the Bangladeshi daily that the suspected militants were being interrogated at the battalion's office. However, it did not immediately identify the suspected militants.

Police on Tuesday had intensified security around UN and other foreign aid agencies after regional offices of the UN and International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) received militant threats at Barisal.

"We enforced tight security around the UN, UNICEF and IFRC offices, deploying extra forces and installing makeshift check points," Nurunnabi Chowdhury, officer in charge of main Kotwali police station in Barisal city, had told.