Two alleged muggers were killed in a "gunfight" with detectives in Dhaka's Khilkhet area early yesterday.
The dead were identified as Enamul, 30, and Md Rasel, 28.
The incident took place around 2:30am, when a team of the Detective Branch of Police, along with local police, chased a group of muggers who were on an auto-rickshaw, said Mashiur Rahman, deputy commissioner of (DB-Gulshan) of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police.
The DC said they have been setting up several checkpoints at Khilkhet area to ensure security for people returning to Dhaka as incidents of mugging – with muggers posing as fellow passengers in auto-rickshaws and microbuses -- have led to killing and injuring several people before Eid.
Around 2:15am, as law enforcers signalled an auto-rickshaw at a check post to stop, its driver refused and tried to speed his way towards Purbachal area. The DB team then informed another one of their teams ahead who intercepted the auto-rickshaw, he said.
Then, two of the muggers came out of the auto-rickshaw and started firing at the law enforcers, who fired back in self-defence, leaving the men bullet hit, claimed the DC.
They were rushed to Dhaka Medical College Hospital, where doctors declared them dead.
Detectives claimed to have arrested two more muggers -- Nayan and Yeamin -- and recovered the auto-rickshaw, a pistol, two bullets, a sharp weapon, a scarf and an ointment from their possessions.
DB officials said this gang, along with others, offered ride-sharing to people on auto-rickshaws and microbuses when they saw commuters waiting for transport.
On the way, they used to mug those people and many of their victims sustained injuries due to their torture. A Dubai expat, who was travelling from Bogura to Dhaka earlies this month, was strangled to death by one such gang, law enforcers said.
His body was found on the Kuril flyover in the capital.
The arrestees told detectives that they gathered in Tongi area yesterday to pick up unsuspecting victims. As they did not find anyone there, they were heading toward Dhaka, DC Mashiur said.
Nayan and Yeamin said they used to snatch valuables from victims. If anyone tried to resist, they used to strangle him with a towel or scarf. They used to carry firearms as well, he said, quoting the arrestees.
Those arrested are accused in several cases for mugging, robbery and drugs, police said.