The chief of the terror group blamed for Bangladesh’s worst terror attack at a Dhaka cafe was among the four Islamist militants killed in one of the country’s longest anti-terror operations in Sylhet, police said on Tuesday.
“Our intelligence suggest one of the four is top neo-JMB (neo-Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh) leader Musa,” police’s Assistant Inspector General M Moniruzzaman said.
He, however, said forensic investigation was ordered to further confirm his identity as his face was mutilated in the fierce encounter.
Officials earlier identified the man only as Musa, saying he took the charge of the outfit as a massive anti-militancy operations killed several top neo-JMB leaders after the July 1 attack on Holey Artisan cafe.
The July 1 attack on Gulshan’s Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka’s posh diplomatic area killed 23 people, including an Indian girl.
Musa was among four Islamist terrorists killed during ‘Operation Twilight’, one of the country’s longest anti-terror operations launched after a suicide bomber on Friday night blew himself up at the international airport in Dhaka in an attack claimed by the ISIS. It came a week after an identical attack on a Rapid Action Battalion camp in Dhaka.
The four militants, including a woman, were holed up in a building that saw powerful blasts claimed by the Islamic State that killed six people in northeastern Sylhet city.
Bangladesh’s army cleared the booby-trapped militant den in Sylhet and carried out controlled explosions of bombs in the building.
Several powerful blasts rocked the area as army’s bomb disposal experts engaged in defusing the explosives planted at different corners of the building by the militants before their deaths.
“The army’s explosive experts are working inside to defuse the devices apparently through controlled explosions,” a source said.