Top Bangladesh militant arrested

Bangladesh's second top Islamist militant was captured on Monday after a gunbattle with security forces in a northern district, police said.

They said Siddikul Islam Bangla Bhai, chief of the outlawed Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh group, was arrested along with his wife at his hideout with two of his associates in the district of Mymensingh.

A militant was killed and an officer of the elite Rapid Action Battalion force suffered a gunshot wound to the head.

Bangla Bhai was also injured, but it was not immediately known how seriously.

His capture comes four days after another top fugitive Islamist, Shayek Abdur Rahman, was detained in the northeastern town of Sylhet.

Security forces had surrounded Bangla Bhai's hideout since Sunday midnight and closed in before sunrise.

The militant and his men threw bombs at the security forces and later opened fire, triggering a shootout, police said. A part of the house, where the militants were holed up, was blown up in the fighting, a witness said.

Intelligence officials said the arrest of Shayek Rahman last week and his subsequent interrogation had helped them in tracking down Bangla Bhai.

"He didn't have a clue until the net was completely drawn on him," said an intelligence officer, reports Reuters.


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