Bangladesh police seized at least 20 bombs and bomb-making materials and arrested two suspected members of a banned radical Islamist group in a series of weekend raids, an official said on Monday.
Authorities have been under pressure to crack down on radical groups after attacks on foreigners and minorities last year raised concerns about rising extremism in the secular South Asian nation.
The deputy inspector general of Dhaka police, Monirul Islam, said police arrested two members of the banned Ansarullah Bangla Team group during raids on at least four homes in the capital and its outskirts. He said some people were seen fleeing from the houses.
The raids yielded information that led officers to another home in the capital where they found 20 “powerful bombs” and bomb-making materials, he said. Most of the bombs were later defused.
Islam said the bombs likely belonged to Ansarullah Bangla Team members who used the top floor of the home as an arsenal. However, two other police officers said on condition of anonymity that it was unclear who used the home and who possessed the explosives.
Police did not allow reporters to enter the raided homes.
Ansarullah Bangla Team is accused of killing several secular bloggers. The government banned the group in 2015.