More than 5,300 criminal suspects, including 85 militants, have been arrested in Bangladesh as part of an intensified crackdown on Islamists to halt a wave of brutal attacks on minorities and secular writers, police said on Sunday.
As many as 2,128 people have been arrested on the second day of a nationwide anti-terror crackdown, police said, adding 48 of them belonged to various militant outfits.
Altogether 5,320 people have been arrested, including 85 militants, since Friday morning, when the drive kicked off.
On Saturday 3,192 people had been arrested.
Bangladesh launched the drive after a high-level meeting held by Inspector General AKM Shahidul Hoque on Thursday. The anti-militant drive involved the paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh and the elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion.
Bangladesh has been witnessing a string of brutal attacks by Islamists. The ISIS and Al-Qaeda in the IndianPeninsula have claimed some of the attacks but government denies the presence of these groups in Bangladesh.
Prime Minister Hasina on Friday told a meeting of her ruling Awami League party that police would stamp out the violence and vowed to catch "each and every killer". The attacks since last year, which has left more than 30 people dead, has put Bangladesh under a global spotlight for failing to prevent such attacks.
On Friday, a 60-year-old Hindu ashram worker was hacked to death by ISIS jihadists, days after another priest was killed by the same terrorist group in the Muslim-majority nation.
In February, militants stabbed to death a Hindu priest at a temple and shot and wounded a devotee who went to his aid.
In April, a liberal professor was brutally hacked to death in Rajshahi city. The same month, a Hindu tailor was hacked to death and Bangladesh's first gay magazine editor was murdered in his Dhaka flat by Islamists.