Two suspected robbers including the kingpin of Mortuza Bahini were killed in a "gunfight" between their cohorts and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in Chandpai range of the Sundarbans in Bagerhat this morning.
The members of the elite force also recovered 15 firearms, several bullets and some explosives from the east side of Shela river in the east Sundarbans around 8:30am, nearly five minutes after the "gunfight", reports our correspondent quoting Maj Md Anwarul Kabir, deputy commander of Rab-8.
Deceased Mortuza Hossain Rana, 32, is the linchpin of Mortuza Bahini (force), son of Habib Sheikh of Joymoni village in Mongla upazila of the district; and Mortuza's associate Mosaref Sheikh, 30, son of Abdul Malek of Ghol village in the upazila.
On information that the "robbers" abducted five fishermen for ransom, a patrol team of Rab-8 went to the east side of Shela river, said Major Kabir.
Sensing the presence of Rab personnel, the cohorts of Mortuza opened fire at the elite men, Major Kabir added.
As the Rab men retaliated with fire, a "gunfight" triggers and it continued for 35 minutes from 7:50am, the Major added.
After the "gunfight", where the law enforcers fired at least 300 bullets, the kidnapped fishermen identified Mortuza and Mosaref, the Major further added.
The other associates of Mortuza, according to the Major who opened fire on the Rab men, fled the scene.
The Rab members recovered 15 firearms including seven light guns, two single-barrel rifles, two two-barrel rifles and one shutter gun; 27 bullets, 25 cartridges, one mobile antenna, one Binocular and cash money of Tk 19,672 searching the victims' bodies and from the spot.
The Rab official claimed that the Mortuza Bahini used to abduct fishermen for ransom for long times.