Bangladeshi security forces captured five outlawed Harkat-ul-Jihad-Islami (HUJI) militants following a gunfight at a hideout in the southeastern Chittagong region on Monday, police said. Several bombs, explosives and bomb making materials were seized from the hideout, which militants had been using as a training camp, in a forest at Raozan near Chittagong city, some 300 km (288 miles) southeast of the capital, Dhaka.
The gunfight erupted when the elite Rapid Action Battalion raided the hideout early on Monday following intelligence tips. HUJI was blamed for attempting to kill former British High Commissioner, Anwar Choudhury, at a Muslim shrine in the northeastern town of Sylhet in May, 2005. Choudhury was wounded and three people including his bodyguard were killed. In August, 2004, HUJI was blamed for a grenade attack that killed 23 people and wounded 150 others at a Dhaka rally attended by the then opposition leader, Sheikh Hasina. She escaped narrowly but suffered partial hearing loss.
Hasina took office in 2009 as Prime Minister for a second time following a massive election win, vowing to fight radical Islamist forces that have killed dozens of people in Bangladesh in bomb attacks in recent years. Officials say Islamist militants, who suffered a blow in 2007 with the execution of six top militants, are trying to regroup and pursue their campaign to turn the democratic Muslim majority country into a sharia based Islamic state.