Bangladesh police have shot dead five suspected members of a banned group in three days, including one on Wednesday, as security forces stepped up the hunt for Islamist militants behind a series of attacks in the majority-Muslim nation.
Five suspected members of the outlawed Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, an Islamic fundamentalist organisation operating in Bangladesh, have been killed in shootouts since the wife of a prominent counter-terrorism police official was shot dead by suspected Islamist militants on Sunday, police said.
An elderly Hindu priest and a veteran Christian have also been hacked to death in attacks claimed by the Islamic State.
Since February last year, militants in Bangladesh have killed more than 30 people, including liberal bloggers and academics and members of religious minorities.
Islamic State and al-Qaeda have claimed responsibility for most of the killings but the government denies that either group has a presence in the country of 160 million people.
Police says two outlawed groups, Ansarullah Bangla Team and Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, are behind the violence.