-- Bodies of 3 men, 1 woman found -- 2 bodies brought out -- Suicide vests on rest 2 bodies -- Army planning to recover the bodies -- Operation still on -- Bombs scattered inside -- Building highly risky
-- Bodies of 3 men, 1 woman found
-- 2 bodies brought out
-- Suicide vests on rest 2 bodies
-- Army planning to recover the bodies
-- Operation still on
-- Bombs scattered inside
-- Building highly risky
Bangladesh Army has neutralised four “well trained” militants including a woman at Atia Mahal, the centre of all attention where “Operation Twilight” is still underway.
“We’ve found four bodies inside the building in the end of the day’s operation,” Brig General Mohammad Fakhrul Ahsan told journalists at a press briefing in Shibbari of Sylhet this evening.
Among the four, two bodies have been brought out from the building and handed over to police, he said while disclosing the details of the operation.
The army is planning on how to recover the rest two bodies as they are with suicidal vests, Fakhrul Ahsan also said.
“All of the killed militants were well trained and it is a big success for the army that it has been able to find them out and neutralise them,” he told journalists at the briefing.
“I believe none else is alive inside,” he said.
So far, 10 people -- including the four militants and two police officials -- have been killed and at least 40 injured since the Sylhet raid began from the wee hours of Friday.
Fakhrul claimed that previously they had obtained intelligence information from police about the presence of the four militants here.
Building very risky
The building is still very risky as a huge cache of explosives including IEDs (improvised explosive device) has been found scattered inside the building, Fakhrul said adding that “If these explode, a portion of the building may collapse.”
Army is proceeding cautiously, he said.
Operation to go on
The army is not concluding the operation yet as it needs more time to finish it, Fakhrul said adding that army will proceed following the direction of their high-ups.
“When we will declare the conclusion of the operation, we will hand the entire place as crime scene to the police and then they will take steps according to the rules in this regard,” he said.
‘Operation being conducted successfully’
Fakhrul claimed that the operation is being conducted successfully without any casualties on the side of the army.
Responding to a query, the army official said that the overall situation has been under their control since the beginning of the operation.
Regarding the fire that broke out at the building this afternoon, he said, “We have fired several gun shots, tear gas shells and carried out grenade attacks. Besides, the militants exploded improvised explosives that might have caused the fire.”
Earlier, after a day of intense firing and extended restrictions around Shibbari, the fire broke out at Atia Mahal.
Huge smoke was seen coming out of the ground floor – where the militants were holding up – around 3:40pm. Fire fighters rushed to the scene and took control of the situation.
Two fire fighting units controlled the flames within 20 minutes. Army quickly moved in from the rear preparing for what it seemed like another assault, our correspondent reported from the spot.
Previously, around 1:30pm, locals said law enforcers announced on loudspeakers asking the militants to surrender.
Firing resumed from early this morning with much intensity and frequency compared to the last few days as Sylhet raid rolled on to the fourth day today.
Today’s restriction net was even wider as the lawmen formed a five-kilometre secured area around the house located in Dakshin Surma, our local correspondent reported.
Several personnel of the law enforcing agencies and locals sought anonymity to tell The Daily Star that today’s firing resumed from 6:00am and was underway in intervals.
Meanwhile, gas and power lines of Dakshin Surma were cut off. As local markets were compelled to break, there has been a food crisis in the area.