Bangladeshi security forces arrest nine Islamic militants

Security forces in northern Bangladesh on Tuesday arrested nine suspected members of an outlawed Islamic militant group blamed for a spate of recent bomb attacks, officials said.

The agents also seized bomb-making materials, including detonators, during raids in the town of Syedpur, 288 kilometers (180 miles) north of the capital, Dhaka, said officials from the Rapid Action Battalion, an elite anti-crime force.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they are not authorized to speak to media.

Bomb attacks blamed on the banned Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh group have killed 26 people and wounded dozens of others since August last year.

Police have arrested nearly 600 suspects after the bombings that targeted courts and government buildings. Dozens of them have been charged with violence, but their trial has yet to start.

In Tuesday's raids, security forces discovered 84 detonators, an amount of explosive gel that police say can be used in bombs and dozens of electric circuits, RAB official said.

Authorities conducted surveillance of a number of slum huts near a railway station in Syedpur for about a week before launching the raids, officials said.

The detainees were being questioned, the officials said without providing further details. Authorities have blamed hundreds of bombings in Bangladesh in recent months on Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh, reports the AP.

I.L.