The Bangladeshi security forces have arrested eight suspected Islamist militants linked to the banned Jamaatul Mujaheedin Bangladesh (JMB) with a large cache of explosives, days ahead of the landmark parliamentary polls in the country, an official said.
The security forces arrested eight suspected militants in Pashchim Komornoi village (Kodomtola) under Gaibandha sadar upazila. The Special Branch in association with Gobindaganaj police also seized 50 casings of grenade,
grenade-making materials, huge explosives and Islamic books from Chakshibpur and Parkachua villages, The Daily Star newspaper reported.
Police said they arrested JMB's regional commander Reji from Gobindaganj upazila headquarters first and two others with explosives on the basis of confession yesterday.
Gaibandha police chief S M Moniruzzaman said the explosives might have been collected for any big attack ahead of the next week's parliamentary election. He said they were yet to find any link to the arrest of JMB and grenade seizure in Comilla.
The JMB has been blamed for a series of blasts in 2005 that killed at least 28 people. Police said JMB has been trying to reorganise in recent months after its leaders were arrested and executed in March 2007.
Three of the eight arrested were taken into custody yesterday in the morning in Gobindaganj upazila. Following their interrogation, police detained Mostafizur Rahman, 32, and Nannu Miah, 32, from Gobindaganj upazila and Rowshan Ali, 30, and Amzad, 35, from Sadar upazila. Rejaul Karim Reji alias Hasan alias Sihab, 25, Manjurul Islam Manju, 20, and Al Amin,27, were arrested in the morning in Gobindaganj upazila, the Bangladeshi daily said.
According to Bangladeshi daily, Reji, a student of Gobindaganj Shamim and Shakil Technical College, is the member of JMB's policy-making body Ehsar.
Lt Col Ahsan, commander of Gaibandha Army Camp, and RAB-5 commander Major Shah Ali said the arrested militants have provided important information to the police.
Six top member of the JBM were hanged last year, including its leader Shaikh Abdur Rahman after they were found guilty of carrying out bombings and killing two judges.
Bangladesh is set for a landmark polls on Dec 29 amid fears of violence from the JMB militants, who seek the establishment of Islamic rule in Bangladesh.