Bangladesh blast on Eid LIVE: 1 attacker gunned down, one captured alive

Jul, 07 2016 IST

Bangladesh blast on Eid LIVE: 1 attacker gunned down, one captured alive
  • 13:44 (IST)

    Bangladesh I&B minister says that the Kishoreganj attack indicates that theories are against Islam. "Clear that these are political attacks and it does not seem to attack the Muslims or the Hindus but seems to be targeting the democratically elected govt."

  • 13:42 (IST)

    Bangladesh anti-terror op over

  • 13:41 (IST)

    Attack site holds largest open-air gatherings

    At least one of the bombs exploded during the prayer attended by hundreds of thousands of people at the sprawling Sholakia grounds the district of Kishoreganj, about 90 kilometers (60 miles) north of the capital of Dhaka. The grounds hold the largest open-air gatherings for the Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Fitr, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

    AP

  • 13:40 (IST)

    One attacker killed

    After the blast, police fired on the attackers and killed one of them, Assistant Superintendent Tofazzal Hossain said. The country's information minister said the target of the attack was the police convoy patrolling the religious gathering.

    Up to nine police constables were injured in the attack, Minister Hasanul Haq Inu told Indian broadcaster CNN-News 18.

  • 13:14 (IST)

    One attacker killed

    One suspected attacker was killed in an exchange of fire with police at the blast site as roads in the area were cordoned off in Bangladesh's Kishoreganj. Abu Sayem, additional superintendent of Kishoreganj police, said two – including a police constable and a terrorist – died at scene. "One suspect has been held and about 13 injured," he said.

    Local reports said six to seven people led the attack with sharp weapons on policemen when they were frisking people entering the Eidgah ground.

    Kishoreganj ASP Obaidul Hasan said the blasts spread panic among thousands who were beginning to gather near the ground, but the prayers were not disrupted, bdnews24.com reported.

    "That was probably a crude bomb. The facts are still unclear," he said.

    The incident comes after last week's deadly attacks in Dhaka which killed over 20 people mainly foreigners including an Indian girl.

    The Islamic State terror group on Wednesday issued a new chilling video warning the Bangladesh government of more attacks in the country and across the world until Shariah law is established globally, saying last week's gruesome attack here was just "a glimpse".

    The video message believed to be issued from Raqqa, the stronghold of the terror group in strife-torn Syria was released on YouTube.

    Islamist gunmen stormed a popular restaurant in Dhaka's posh diplomatic enclave late on Friday killing 22 people, most of them foreigners from Italy, Japan, India and the US in an attack claimed by the Islamic State.

    The Islamic State video has gone viral on social media among Bangladeshis still recovering from the shock of the brutal slaughter of 20 hostages and two police officers in Dhaka. 

  • 13:08 (IST)

    Biggest Eid celebration in Bangladesh

    Reports said Kishoreganj was hosting Bangladesh's biggest celebrations for the end of the Ramazan fasting month. The attack on the police position was close to an area where some 200,000 people had gathered for a prayer service in Kishoreganj town, about 140 km (90 miles) northeast of the capital, Dhaka, said district administrator Zillur Rahman.


    Rahman said the attack had been brought under control. "We are still checking for other miscreants but after this incident prayers were held peacefully and we have asked everyone to go home," Rahman said.

  • 13:02 (IST)

    One attacker gunned down and one captured alive by security forces, says Bangladesh Information Minister.

  • 12:41 (IST)

    No one claims responsibility but Sheikh Hasina govt confident that it was by domestic militants

    The ongoing spate of attacks begun in 2013 has generally targeted atheists, religious minorities and others considered by militants to be "enemies of Islam." There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Thursday's attack, but the government insisted it was carried out by domestic militants fighting to destabilize Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's secular government and establish Islamic rule in the Muslim-majority nation.


    "It is a totally political move. They are out to destabilize the government. It is a political attack to oust and topple the secular government of Sheikh Hasina," Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said.


    Though many past attacks, including the hostage-taking, have been claimed by the Islamic State group, Hasina's government has dismissed those claims as opportunistic, and says none of the attacks have been orchestrated from abroad. Instead, Hasina's government has accused her political opponents of backing the militant agenda in Bangladesh, an allegation the opposition parties vehemently deny.


    On Wednesday, the extremist Sunni Muslim group released a video warning of more attacks in Bangladesh, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi activity online.

    AP

  • 12:39 (IST)

    Injured police transferred to Mymensingh Medical College Hospital

    Six injured policemen have been transferred to Mymensingh Medical College Hospital, reports Dhaka Tribune.

  • 12:25 (IST)

    Updated toll


    According to NDTV, number of people dead in the explosion has risen to 4. Bangladesh police also said that at least 12 have been injured in the blasts at Azimuddin High School gate, a kilometre away from the ground, around 9am on Thursday. 

  • 12:20 (IST)

    In annexed east Jerusalem, about 150,000 people attended morning prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam. In Cairo, thousands of families gathered for mass prayers and relaxed in public gardens and malls.

    "Eid is a relief from our small daily battles with the traffic jams and work stress," said Heba Essam, 35, a businesswoman. Ahmed Mohamed, a web designer who recently became a father, said he hoped Eid would take Egyptians' minds off their difficult economic situation.

    "I will stay at home for family gatherings the whole three days to avoid any expenses," he said.

  • 12:20 (IST)

    Violence mars last month of Ramazan

    Turkish authorities said Islamic was responsible for an attack late last month at Istanbul's Ataturk international airport which left 45 people dead. In Bangladesh on Wednesday, an eerie silence pervaded the diplomatic quarter of Dhaka five days after 20 hostages were killed at a popular cafe in an attack claimed by Islamic State.

    The run-up to Eid usually sees malls packed with shoppers. But on Wednesday many of the area's popular restaurants and shopping centres remained closed. "Our guest numbers have gone down dramatically so the management took the decision to keep it shut for a while," said Abdul Mazid, a guard at Meraki, a well-known restaurant. In Pakistan, thousands of worshippers attended Eid al-Fitr prayers at a mosque in Karachi.

    "At the moment the most important thing is brotherhood. We have to show solidarity and stand to eliminate sectarianism," said worshipper Muhammad Ikhlaq. Hundreds also prayed at an open-air mosque in the Nigerian capital. A seven-year insurgency by Islamist group Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria has left at least 20,000 people dead and more than 2.6 million homeless.

    Shamy Noshy El-Shamy, an imam who led the prayers, condemned violence between Muslims, saying the Medina attack happened "because of lack of real knowledge about Islam". "Real Islam is not all these bombings, all these fightings. Islam is a religion of peace. Islam means peace," he said. US President Barack Obama said he was committed to protecting Muslim Americans against bigotry and xenophobia.

    "Our prayers are with the hundreds of innocent lives, many of them Muslim, taken during the month of Ramadan in places like Orlando, Istanbul, Dhaka, Baghdad, and Medina," he said.

  • 12:16 (IST)

  • 12:08 (IST)

    Terrorists are enemies of Islam: Sheikh Hasina

    Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina confirmed that the attack near the Eid congregation, says these terrorists are enemies of Islam and are not real followers of the religion.

  • 11:56 (IST)

    People attacked with knives and machetes

    Bangladesh has been reeling from a growing wave of attacks since the turn of the year, many of which have been claimed by Islamic State or an offshoot of the Al Qaeda network. Bangladesh has been on a heightened state of alert in the wake of the killings in Dhaka last Friday night and many services that were held on Thursday to mark the start of Eid included pleas from religious leaders for an end to the violence.

    Tofazzal Hosain - the district's deputy police chief told news agency AFP that several people had taken part in the attack and some had been armed with machetes -- a hallmark of recent killings in Bangladesh.


    Many of the attacks throughout Ramadan were claimed by or blamed on the Islamic State group. Islamic State had urged supporters to launch attacks during Ramazan. Analysts fear defeats in its Syrian and Iraqi strongholds are pushing the group to launch more attacks further afield.

  • 11:53 (IST)

  • 11:53 (IST)

    Sheikh Hasina reacts

    Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina condemned the attacks on a group praying on Eid and said that Islam does not preach killing of innocent and unarmed people. "Who attacks a group of people who are praying on Eid?"

    "Some terrorists attacked a police patrol team at the entrance of the Sholakia Eid congregation. It is a terrorist strike and the terrorist are against the normal practices of Islam. They attacked a police patrol team. One policeman lost his life, 8-9 people were injured. They are out to create disturbance. It is a political attack to topple and oust the secular government of Sheikh Hasina," Bangladesh Information and Broadcast Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said. 

  • 11:48 (IST)

    "What I don't understand is how can people attack those who have been fasting for Ramazan?" says Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

  • 11:46 (IST)

    Deadly attack mars the last month of Ramazan

    Across the border in war-torn Syria, the army said it would observe a 72-hour nationwide ceasefire coinciding with Eid. But one person was killed and another wounded Wednesday morning when artillery fire hit a rebel-controlled part of second city Aleppo, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Rebel forces fired back at regime-held parts of the city with mortars, it said.

    "I had planned to visit family and friends, to bring my children out to play, but we decided to stay inside the house in case the shelling resumes," said Ahmad Naseef, 30. "I hope things will calm down a bit during Eid, not for me but for my children."

  • 11:43 (IST)

    Muslims mark end of a Ramadan marred by deadly attacks


    Millions of Muslims on Wednesday celebrated the festival at the end of the holy month of Ramazan, marked this year by a series of deadly jihadist attacks, which concluded with Thursday's attack. The three-day Eid al-Fitr festival traditionally means family gatherings and the exchange of gifts and sweets after a month of fasting from dawn until dusk.

    But a wave of attacks in Muslim countries -- from Turkey and Bangladesh to Iraq and Saudi Arabia -- have made this year's Eid a sombre occasion. Tens of thousands of worshippers gathered for Eid prayers at Islam's second-holiest site, the Prophet's Mosque in the Saudi city of Medina, just two days after a suicide bombing that killed four security guards in a nearby carpark. Addressing the crowd, Sheikh Abdelbari al-Thabiti said the bombing was an "odious crime" carried out by "a group that no longer respects the rites of Allah or the sanctity of the Prophet's Mosque."


    In Baghdad, Eid was overshadowed by a massive suicide car bombing on Sunday that ripped through the Shiite-majority Karrada district and left at least 250 dead. On Wednesday Iraqis placed thousands of candles along sidewalks and in the charred remains of a building at the site of the blast. Some prayed or read the Quran; others laid flowers and Iraqi flags or hugged and wept.

    If it were a normal Eid "people would be happy and this street would be open, and people would be walking on it," Mohammed Al Sultan told AFP at the site of the bombing. "But this tragedy that happened to us, the young people who died... is this our Eid? Is it possible for it to be Eid in this way?"

  • 11:30 (IST)

    'They usually have very good security'


    Al Jazeera's Maher Sattar, reporting from Dhaka, said large gatherings for the Eid prayers were usually organised with donations from organisations and wealthy business people. "They usually have very good security because they are such large gatherings," he said. "They are one of the best protected events in the country." 

  • 11:21 (IST)

    Very tragic: Salman Khurshid

    Former external affairs minister Salman Khurshid reacted to the attack in Kishoreganj and said, "This is very tragic, Bangladesh is a friendly nation, we can stand by the people in this time of need."

  • 11:20 (IST)

    CNN-News 18 reported that Maulana Farid Uddin Masud, who's the imam Masjid at Sholalkia, was the main target of the terrorists

  • 11:17 (IST)

    Azimuddin High School is located within one kilomitre of Sholakia Eid congregation, The Dhaka Tribune reported and the road nearby the school leads to the Sholakia Eid congregation.


    Panic gripped thousands of people who were gathering for the Eid prayer in the ground.

  • 11:15 (IST)

    Group of 6-7 youths led the attack


    According to what could be gathered primarily from local sources, a group of six to seven people led the attack on policemen whenn they were frisking people into the Eidgah ground. They attacked the policemen with sharp weapons and blasted some bombs at scene.


    Speaking to The Daily Star, Kishoreganj Sadar police station officer-in-charge Mizanul Haque said that a constable of his barracks, Jahirul, died in the attack and several others 

  • 11:09 (IST)

    Local media in Bangladesh puts the toll at one.

    The Dhaka Tribune reported that one policeman been killed and several others injured when bombs went off at Sholakia, the country’s largest Eid congregation site, on Thursday. According to the paper, one policeman has been reportedly killed and six others have been injured. 

    Police now trading fires with miscreants, The Dhaka Tribune reported.

  • 11:05 (IST)

    Islamic State video threatens more attacks in Bangladesh

    After the Dhaka terror, the Islamic State terror group had issued a chilling video on Wednesday threatening more attacks. 


    "What you witnessed in Bangladesh was a glimpse. This will repeat, repeat and repeat until you lose and we win and the sharia is established throughout the world," said a man identified as Bangladeshi fighter Abu Issa al-Bengali, in the video monitored by SITE intelligence site. 


    The video message believed to be issued from Raqqa in Bangladesh was first found in an Islamic State-affiliate website and then released on YouTube early Wednesday.

  • 11:03 (IST)

    Police and local media reported the new attack by militants near a prayer ground where at least 200,000 people were marking the end of Ramazan in the northern Kishoreganj district.

    "One police constable is dead and at least five others were injured," Mahbub, a police officer in the district control room, told AFP, without giving details of how the policeman had died.

  • 11:03 (IST)

    Police and local media reported the new attack by militants near a prayer ground where at least 200,000 people were marking the end of Ramazan in the northern Kishoreganj district.

    "One police constable is dead and at least five others were injured," Mahbub, a police officer in the district control room, told AFP, without giving details of how the policeman had died.

  • 11:02 (IST)

    PTI reporting that one suspected attacker has also been killed in an exchange of fire with police at the blast site. Roads in the area have been cordoned off.

  • 11:02 (IST)

    Police constable Jahurul Haque, 30, died in the blasts that occurred around 9 am, at Azimuddin School gate, a kilometre away from the prayer ground, bdnews24 reported.

  • 10:58 (IST)

    12 people injured

    According to The Indian Express, the number of injured has risen to 12. There was reportedly a gunfight between the police and attackers near the blast site in which one of the attackers was killed. According to Daily Star report, the unidentified people have taken shelter near Azimuddin school.

  • 10:57 (IST)

    First of a kind attack on Muslims on the occasion of Eid

    The unprecedented attack on a prayer gathering in Bangladesh took place at Kishoreganj, 100 km from capital Dhaka, where seven terrorists attacked a popular cafe last Friday, killing 22 people. The attack is first of its kind because Muslims in the country have never been attacked on Eid before. 


    A group of attackers reportedly threw homemade bombs at a police team outside a prayer ground where at least 200,000 people were gathered for Eid. NDTV reports that firing is still on between security forces and the attackers.


    "One police constable is dead and at least five others were injured," Mahbub, a police officer in the Kishoreganj control room, told AFP.


    A local Bangladesh TV channel showed footage of a gunfight between the police and a group of attackers and reported the policeman had been hacked to death.

  • 10:53 (IST)

    According to News18, one terrorist was killed and the blast site has been cordoned off

    Terrorists targetted a police patrol guarding the Eid congregation. 

  • 10:51 (IST)

    IS had warned of more attacks

    Islamic State had warned of more attacks in Bangladesh recently in a video. The country was on a high alert because of security concerns during the Eid festival.

  • 10:50 (IST)

    Attack happened at around 9.30 on Thursday morning

    According to a report in Dhaka Tribune, a hand bomb was thrown at policemen near Azim Uddin High School situated at a distance of around one kilometer from the Sholakia Eidgah.

    The incident took place at 9:30 am on Thursday. As per local media reports, a molotov cocktail bomb was hurled at the crowd. The attackers are reportedly hiding inside a house and an encounter is underway.

  • 10:50 (IST)

    Toll rises to 2

    One of the policemen, who died in the blast, has been identified as Zahirul Islam. According to local media reports, two people have been killed so far in attack. However, Firstpost could not confirm it independently.

  • 10:46 (IST)

    According to a Bangladesh minister, the target was an imam at the mosque. Speaking to NDTV, the minister added that the imam, who is a liberal-minded priest, has been threatened many times earlier by fringe elements. 

  • 10:43 (IST)

    According to NDTV, gunfight is underway in Bangladesh

    Bombs exploded near an Eid prayer gathering in Sholakia in Kishoreganj district where at least 200,000 people had gathered, police said.

    One suspected attacker was also reported to be killed in an exchange of fire with police at the blast site as roads along in the area were cordoned off. Police said one constable was dead and at least six others were injured.

  • 10:42 (IST)

    According to the Bangladesh information and Broadcasting Minister, over 3 lakh people had gathered to offer prayers at the spot,culprits absconding & have not been identified yet

Suspected Islamists carried out a new deadly attack Thursday at a huge prayer gathering in northern Bangladesh to celebrate the end of Ramazan, only days after the mass murder of hostages in the capital Dhaka. Police and media reports said there had been an explosion and armed exchanges near a prayer ground in the northern Kishoreganj district as at least 200,000 people took part in a service to mark the start of Eid.

At least one policeman was killed and five others wounded Thursday following an explosion and a gunbattle near a mass prayer gathering to celebrate Eid in northern Bangladesh, police said.

Only days after 20 hostages were murdered by suspected Islamists in Dhaka, police and local media reported a new attack by jihadists near a prayer ground where at least 200,000 people were marking the end of Ramadan in the northern Kishoreganj district.

"One police constable is dead and at least five others were injured," Mahbub, a police officer in the district control room, told AFP, without giving details of how the policeman had died.

"They threw a bomb at a police checkpost. A police constable was killed in the explosion. One attacker was killed and another was arrested," Mahbubur Rahman, a police officer in the district control room, told AFP. Tofazzal Hosain, who is the district's deputy police chief, told AFP that several people had taken part in the attack and some had been armed with machetes -- a hallmark of recent Islamist killings in Bangladesh.

"They first threw a small bomb targeting police and then attacked them with machetes. Police retaliated by returning gunfire," he said. The private Somoy TV station broadcast footage of a gunfight between police and a group of attackers and reported that the slain policeman had been hacked to death.

Azimuddin Biswas, the district administrator, told AFP that the attack had taken place on the premises of a nearby school and not on the actual prayer ground. "The congregation was not affected by the clashes," according to Biswas.

Although there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, it comes less than a week after Islamists killed 20 hostages and two policemen in an overnight siege at a Western-style cafe in Dhaka. Bangladesh has been on a heightened state of alert in the wake of the killings in Dhaka last Friday night and many services that were held on Thursday to mark the start of Eid included pleas from religious leaders for an end to the violence.

"Allah, protect our country ... and protect our children from the evils of terrorism," Mohammad Sadequl Islam, the local imam, told a gathering of around 5,000 devotees at Dhaka's Mahakhali neighbourhood on Thursday. Many of those who attended services in Dhaka could be seen openly weeping as clerics led prayers for a more peaceful and prosperous Bangladesh. Bangladesh has been reeling from a growing wave of attacks since the turn of the year, many of which have been claimed by the self-styled Islamic State group or an offshoot of the Al-Qaeda network.

However Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's secular government has consistently denied that international jihadist networks have gained a foothold in the mainly Muslim country and have said the weekend attack in Dhaka was carried out by members of a local outlawed Islamist group. All of the victims of the weekend attack in the capital, who included 18 foreigners, were hacked to death.

Speaking to CNN-News18, Bangladesh information minister said that the bomb was hurled at the police. "Over three lakh people were in Kishoreganj area to offer namaz on Eid," the minister added.

Thursday's blast comes six days after the brutal terror attack at a upscale cafe in Dhaka on 1 July. The Islamic State had warned of more attacks in a video. However, the Bangladesh minister rebuffed it as a terrorist attack or and attempted to delink it from religion.

With inputs from AFP


Published Date: Jul 07, 2016 01:18 pm | Updated Date: Jul 07, 2016 01:18 pm

Also See