Free Press Journal

3 people arrested in connection with Shia shrine blasts


Dhaka: Bangladeshi police has arrested three people in connection with the bomb blasts here targeting Shia community that claimed the life of a 12-year-old boy in an attack claimed by the dreaded Islamic State militant group. “Three men were detained after the blasts and were handed over to the detective branch for questioning,” Dhaka police’s assistant deputy commissioner Sanjib Kumar Roy told reporters.

A boy was killed and about 90 others injured in yesterday’s blasts targeting a Shia procession in front of Huseni Dalan, the community’s main shrine in the Bangladeshi capital. Police filed a case over the bomb explosions under the tough Anti Terrorism Act, accusing unidentified miscreants. Police suspects that the Husseini Dalan attack was carried out by the same group who murdered a police officer three days ago in the capital.

“Now we have reasons to believe the attack and the murder of our ASI (assistant sub-inspector) are interlinked,” police chief AKM Shahidul Hoque told reporters after the law enforcement agencies quizzed a suspect who was arrested from the scene where the officer was killed.

He had earlier said they seized huge improvised bombs and explosives from Dhaka’s Kamrangirchar area based on information given by the suspect detained in connection with the ASI murder.

“The explosives are similar to the ones used in the attack on Shiite procession,” Hoque said. Another police officer familiar with the investigations said they tracked down 31 people, some of them belonging to ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia’s BNP and its crucial ally fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami from the capital and northwestern Bogra in connection with the ASI murder.

“Now we are trying to confirm the links between the attack on Shiites and the police officer’s murder,” the official said. Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told reporters that some quarters were trying to establish an Islamic State-link to the Husseini Dalal blasts with an “ill motive” and they also did the same think previously after the mysterious murders of two foreigners.

“Statements are released in the name of IS whenever something happens. This can be propaganda with a different motive. We are investigating…(but) we are becoming victims of a conspiracy. Some other terrorists may be doing this,” he told reporters.

After the US and UK envoys, EU Ambassador in Dhaka Pierre Mayaudon also urged Bangladesh today to ensure thorough investigation and bring the attackers to justice. “I am confident that Bangladesh would respond with the highest sense of unity to this unprecedented act of violence,” he said.