57 militants killed in Bangladesh after Holey Artisan attack last year

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The crackdowns on militants after the attack on Holey Artisan Bakery in capital’s Gulshan area on July 1 last year have made a significant progress in combating militancy, with killing 57 radicals and capturing 41 others of the banned militant outfits, Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and neo-JMB, reports BSS,

“We have so far carried out 20 big anti-militant drives in different parts of the country after the Holey Artisan attack, in which 57 militants, mostly top leaders and operatives of the neo-JMB, were killed besides capturing 41 others,” Assistant Inspector General of Police (confidential) Md Moniruzzaman told BSS on the eve of one year of the brutal incident.

He said 11 law enforcers were killed during the anti-militant drives while over 50 cases have so far been lodged relating to the killings.

Moniruzzaman also noted that 13 more militants were killed in a series of anti-militant drives before the Holey Artisan attack when over 200 others were arrested.

The police official claimed that extensive crackdowns on the militants after the attack on the Gulshan restaurant have broken down backbones of the armed activists.

“Militants have lost their organisational capacity to carry out attacks on a large scale when security officials are detecting their locations and movements with intensified intelligence vigilance,” he said.

“We have seen a rise in militancy from the very beginning of 2016 and later in the middle of the year the militant attacked the Holey Artisan Bakery,” said a security and strategic analyst, Maj Gen Abdur Rashid (rtd).

He, however, admitted that the scenario changed after the bakery attack as the law enforcers conducted successful drives to combat terrorism.

“The activities of the militants have been brought under control as the law enforcers have successfully stopped regrouping of the neo JMB with killing and capturing its top leaders,” additional commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) and Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CCTC) chief Monirul Islam told BSS.

He said that they have so far found 24 neo-JMB men involved in the killing of the Holy Artisan attack as the investigation into the matter is now at the final stage.

“The charge sheet in the case will be submitted to the court soon,” he said, adding that 15 of the 24 militants have already been killed in attacks by the law enforcers, while four others are in jails and five are on the run.

On the other hand, JMB’s 64 operatives were sentenced to death, 154 to life term imprisonment and 242 others to different jail terms in cases of various attacks. Besides, law enforcers arrested 1,792 JMB men in different cases while 2,043 were charge-sheeted in different cases.

The JMB suffered a huge setback with execution of death sentences of it top leaders including Maulana Shaikh Abdur Rahman, his second-in-command Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai, military commander Ataur Rahman Sunny, think-tank Abdul Awal, Majlish-e-Sura members Khaled Saifullah and Salahuddin.

“In a single incident of cross-country bomb explosions on 17 August in 2005, a total of 161 cases were lodged accusing 660 members of the JMB. Of them, 103 cases have already been disposed of while 58 cases are under trial,” media wing director of RAB Commander Mufti Mahmud told BSS earlier.

Courts awarded death sentences to 15 JMB men, life term to 118, different terms to 116 while acquitted 118 of the charges in the cross-country bomb explosions cases, sources said.

JMB chief Maulana Shaikh Abdur Rahman, HuJIB (Harkatul Jihad Al Islami Bangladesh) operational chief Maulana Abdul Hannan were among the death sentence awardees in the cross country bombing cases.

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