Cops bust 'militants' den', recover arms, explosives

2 persons were killed in a blast at the Bogra hideout the previous night

Police yesterday recovered 20 grenades, firearms and ammunition, and a huge amount of bomb-making materials, including gel explosives, from a house in Sherpur upazila of Bogra where two people were killed in a bomb explosion Sunday night.

Law enforcers suspect that the house was a militants' den.

A 12-member bomb disposal team of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit led by Senior Assistant Commissioner Hayatuddowlla Chowdhury conducted a drive there and recovered four foreign-made pistols, 40 bullets, six magazines, a huge number of detonators, mobile phones, and a motorcycle.

Later, the grenades were detonated at a desolate place near the house.

“The evidence we have collected suggest that the house was being used as a JMB den and militants were planning to carry out subversive activities,” Md Asaduzzaman, superintendent of police in Bogra, told The Daily Star.

The grenades and explosives seized from the house were similar to those recovered from different militant dens earlier, the SP added.

However, police were yet to confirm the identities of the deceased. One of them died on the spot while the other died at Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital in the district later. Both were aged between 35 and 40.

Owner of the house Mahbubur Rahman, who lives in Dhaka, rented out the house six months ago to one Mizanur Rahman who introduced himself as a CNG-run auto-rickshaw driver from Naogaon.

SP Asaduzzaman said, “Police are trying to know the identities of the tenants and the deceased.”

“We are trying to locate him [Mizanur] by tracking his mobile phone,” he added.

Yesterday, the bomb disposal team entered the house through the back door as the front door was locked. Marks of blood were all over the floor of one room. Another room of the house was used as store, police said.

Locals said Mizanur, his wife and daughter left for Naogaon on Friday.

On Sunday night, neighbours rushed to the house after hearing a bang, and saw the two men lying in a pool of blood. They informed the police immediately.

Contacted, Monirul Islam, chief of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit, said the house was the den of a JMB faction, which had also used a flat in the capital's Mirpur as their den.

On December 24 last year, detectives in a 15-hour raid at the Mirpur house seized 16 improvised grenades, other ingredients, including gel explosives enough to make over 200 bombs and grenades, and a suicide vest.

Three suspected JMB members were arrested during the raid.