MNA Editorial Desk: A blast inside a makeshift camp of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) at Ashkona of Dhaka left a ‘suicide bomber’ dead.
Inspector General (IG) of Police AKM Shahidul Hoque and RAB spokesperson Mufti Mahmud Khan assumes that militants are involved in this attack. This alarming attack was carried out only a day after raids on two militant hideouts at Sitakunda of Chittagong.
Immediately after the attack airports, maritime ports and prisons across Bangladesh was ordered to increase security.
Middle East-based radical group Islamic State claimed credit for several previous militant attacks in Bangladesh. In the case of this RAB camp attack, it has not issued any statement claiming its direct link to the assault rather they only reported the attack. Bangladesh Police sticks to their statement that there is no existence of IS in the country.
There is construction of the new RAB headquarters in the compound which started around three months ago and the compound has only one gate with a sign board ‘ Forces Barrack, RAB Forces Headquarters’. A brick-built road was set up inside the compound to facilitate the construction. Some bachelor members of RAB’s legal, media and communication wings, construction workers and supervisors used to stay in some tin-roofed buildings inside.
According to RAB Spokesperson Mufti Mahmud Khan, the attacker jumped over the boundary of the site for building the RAB’s new headquarters around 1pm before the Jummah prayers. “The unidentified intruder tried to escape when RAB personnel challenged him. That is when the explosion happened. He died when the bomb on his body exploded,” he told reporters. He also said that, workers and personnel were present at the site when the blast happened.
He said, “Some of our administration officers stay here to look after the construction work.”
“Two of our personnel have been slightly injured. They are recovering at the Combined Military Hospital,” he added.
Yellow police tape separated a section of that area, around 50 yards away from the entrance. An ambulance with tinted windows was seen leaving the camp around 2pm.
A RAB official said that, the attacker’s spine and spareribs could be clearly seen on his chest and belly blew off in the blast. He said it seemed that he wore a suicide vest or belt.
Top RAB and police officials rushed to the camp after the attack.
IGP Shahidul and RAB Director General Benazir Ahmed visited the camp in the afternoon though they did not speak to the media there. RAB bomb disposal teams swept the area to secure it. Nothing was found, officials said.
Hours after the attack, the Islamic State’s Amaq News reported the death of the suicide bomber inside the RAB camp.
The incident was reported in the Arabic and Bangla versions of Amaq. It said a “camp for elite troops at the centre of the Bangladeshi capital” was targeted in a ‘martyrdom operation’ involving an explosive belt.
IGP Shahidul said the law enforcers were investigating the attack. “We initially suspect that militants carried out the attack,” he said.
He, however, stated that he did not know anything about the incident being mentioned in an Islamic State mouthpiece.
Earlier, RAB spokesperson Khan said, “We have not recovered any items from the man’s body. Our priority is to secure the area and make sure if he was carrying anything else with him.”
When asked whether they suspected any particular militant group, he said, “It cannot be confirmed immediately. But the nature of the attack indicates that the man was from an extremist group.”