Bangladesh on high alert as terrorist siege ends, 'Operation Twilight' to continue

Bangladesh police stand guard after an attacker was killed in front of a police box at the entrance to Dhaka?s international airport on March 24. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Dhaka, Dhaka Division, Bangladesh Mar 27, 2017, 04.27 PM (IST) Saad Hammadi

Four suspected terrorists have been killed at the end of the fourth day at a counter-terrorist operation codenamed "Operation Twilight" in the northeastern Sylhet in Bangladesh. The operation however, is still ongoing. 

The bodies of two suspected terrorists killed during the commando assault on Sunday have been handed over to the police. The bodies could not be identified yet, said Basudev Banik, deputy commissioner of Sylhet Metropolitan Police. 

"The two bodies inside the building still have IED vests put on. There may be more IEDs planted in the building, for which the operation has not been concluded," said Lieutenant Colonel Rashidul Hasan, spokesperson for the Bangladesh Army.

Whether there are more people in the building also cannot be confirmed, he told WION.   

The operation is likely to officially conclude tomorrow after the commando forces end their search throughout the building and the bomb disposal units finish diffusing the bombs, Banik told WION. 

India's Border Security Forces have stepped up vigil around the northeastern belt sharing borders with Sylhet following terror attacks in the region this week. 

At least 10 persons have been killed in the last four days in Sylhet including a policeman and four terrorists. At least six persons were killed and 44 persons were injured in a bomb blast yards away from the militant den.

Bangladesh has observed a spike in terrorist attacks this month after a halt for nearly eight months since a cafe attack in Dhaka last July killed at least 20 persons. 

The Bangladesh government has to stocktake the operation in Sylhet, derive lessons from it and address them better, said Shafqat Munir, research fellow at the Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies.

"We need to reevaluate the threat assessment of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh and all the other groups and ensure that we are adequately equipped to deal with what I would term as a constantly evolving threat," Munir told WION.

Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to visit India next month. A number of agreements in areas of defence and security will be on the cards among others. Security analysts say the latest terror attacks will influence the agreements Bangladesh and India would sign. 

Indian media reports last week indicated that Bangladesh has warned India's home ministry about a possible infiltration of 2,000 members of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Harkatul Jihad al Islami - Bangladesh. Authorities in Bangladesh, however, did not confirm the report. 


Six terrorists have been killed and 50 injured in the counter-terror operation that is still on at Sylhet in Bangladesh as terrorists have been holed up for nearly 72 hours reports WION's Saad Hammadi (WION)