On Sunday in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Bangladeshi troops assaulted an apartment house in the northeastern city of Sylhet, killing two of the militants in the building. The troops attacked using tear gas, firing bullets, and used armored vehicles in an attempt to flush out the militants holed up in the building.
However, the troops’ attack has not ended a violent three-day standoff against the militant group. This standoff has left six other people dead, including two police officers and has injured, at least, 43 people. The standoff began on Thursday, but the more violent attacks, including the six deaths and most of the injuries, occurred on Saturday night. According to Commissioner Musa, the two explosions were set off by militants at a checkpoint about 400 yards from the apartment building. The Islamic State claimed responsibility “for a bombing on Bangladeshi forces in Sylhet.”
Bangladesh’s elite police force has been trying to crack down on the militant groups since last year. For instance, last year, there was a deadly attack at a restaurant “frequented by foreigners in the city of Dhaka in Bangladesh,” reported Amaq, an information outlet linked to the Islamic State. In response, the elite police force has been arresting and, sometimes, killing suspected militants.
The Sylhet siege followed several failed suicide bombings in Dhaka over the past week. A man detonated his explosives at a police checkpoint and only killed himself. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for this suicide attack.
The Sylhet operation began on Thursday night when they were notified that militants were hiding in the apartment building on the outskirts of the city, according to Mr. Musa. Brig. Gen. Fakhrul Ahsan reported that the militants in the apartment building were “well trained, and have thrown back the grenades we lobbed at them.” General Ahsen reported that the militants in the apartment building had explosives, suicide vests, and small arms. Moreover, the two militants who were killed were wearing suicide vests, and one of them managed to set off his bomb. The general believes that a few more militants are still alive in the building.