Police found three bodies of suspected militants during their ‘Operation Maximus’ at a den in Moulvibazar’s Borohat area on Saturday morning.
SWAT came out of the duplex building in the town after resuming their operation earlier in the morning, a police high official told media at the spot seeking anonymity.
Members of bomb disposal unit entered the building and started their work, he said.
Three militants have been killed in Operation Maximus, CTTC chief Monirul Islam said in a briefing on the day. “Operation Maximus’ has officially ended, the CTTC chief added.
Earlier, the ‘Operation Maximus’ at militant den of Borohat area in Moulvibazar, again begins on Saturday morning.
Members of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) have entered the militant den using an APC earlier in the morning.
The raid has been resumed after a 72-hour stand-off between suspected militants and police earlier.
Police have asked everyone in the area to exercise caution, as they prepare to move on a duplex house at the Barhahaat neighbourhood, where a huge amount of explosives is suspected to be stored.
On Saturday morning, members of SWAT, RAB and police were seen surrounding the house, within half a kilometer of the Sylhet-Moulvibazar Highway.
Fire trucks and ambulances have been also been kept on standby.
Police personnel have been deployed in the area designated on the Sylhet-Moulvibazar Highway for media people who are covering the raid.
Additionally, check-posts have been put up at various spots across the town, including the court.
Sounds of gunshots were heard as SWAT resumed “Operation Maximus” at the suspected militant den at Moulvibazar’s Borohat this morning.
Moulvibazar Additional Superintendent of Police Rowshanuzzaman Siddique confirms that there was an explosion at the hideout around 8:30 pm and SWAT fired in retaliation. He adds that the second floor of the hideout is now on fire.
Police originally cordoned off the duplex building around 1:30am on Wednesday and the team of Special Weapons and Tactics launched an assault code-named ‘Operation Maximus’ on Friday. Maximus is a Latin term for ‘greatest’.
Suspected militants at Moulvibazar’s Borohat den held their ground by putting up a defiant resistance throughout the day, forcing police to eventually suspend their operation as soon as darkness fell, Counter Terrorism chief Monirul Islam declared this to media.
After an hour of the declaration, sounds of three explosion were heard.
Later the law enforcers hurled bombs to the militants den.
Earlier, in a press briefing, CTTC Chief Monirul Islam says they suspect a top militant leader might be inside the hideout.
‘From a reliable source, we came to know that this top militant is an expert to make suicide vest and he is trained from Afghanistan. He looks like a foreigner,’ he said.
Yesterday afternoon, sporadic blasts and intense firing had continued during the day as well. An ambulance leaves the spot with an injured policeman.
Moulvibazar Additional Superintendent of Police Rowshanuzzaman Siddique tells the media: “Injured constable Kowsar Uddin has been taken to Moulvibazar Sadar Hospital.”
There has many rooms in the militant hideouts and one building is also under construction in the den, Monirul said.
Explosions that have been heard were IEDs set off by militants whenever SWAT tried to approach the building, he added.
The number of militants inside the building is still unknown. The militants are suspected to have a huge cache of explosives, he said.
CTTC Chief Monirul Islam says that police have detained Jewel Ahmed, the caretaker of the two houses in Nasirpur and Borohat. The CTTC chief adds that Jewel’s role in militancy will be scrutinized.
Jewel’s mother Fulbibi rushed to the scene Thursday afternoon. She says that London expatriate Saifur Rahman, the owner of the houses, employed Jewel to look after the houses three years ago, since when she has had little communication with her son.
Sylhet Range DIG Kamrul Ahsan said: “We have seen the movement of three militants inside the den using a drone. A female militant is also inside it.”
Moulvibazar Ward 6 Councillor Jalal Ahmed, whose house is located near the Borohat hideout, says that two gunshots and an explosion were heard from the building around 9 pm.
From different sources, law enforcement agencies determined that the militants in Sitakunda, Shibbari and Moulvibazar are members of New JMB.
Three points of similarity between the militants:
1)Similar weaponry and equipment, including IEDs 2) Similar tactics and modus operandi
3)Similar manner of death Nasirpur hideout had a massive stash of IEDs that were planted at the entrances. IEDs were photographed by drones used by law enforcement agencies
The IEDs are also very similar to those found on the suicide attacker near Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Friday.