Nine suspected gunmen were killed by police in an early morning operation in Bangladesh’s capital city of Dhaka, according to police.
Police said they stormed the fourth floor of a rented block of flats in the Kallyanpur area at 5am on Tuesday morning, where they killed nine men who were wearing black clothes and white turbans.
The operation, which the police named Storm 26, lasted an hour. A tenth man who was shot by police survived and was taken to hospital.
“They were university students. We got some of their ID cards from their clothes,” Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Masud Ahmed, told Al Jazeera.
“We are now searching the property, and a bomb squad is present.”
The incident followed a routine “block raid” operation in the area conducted by the Dhaka Metropolitan police which had started after midnight.
“During the operation, someone from inside one house, threw a cocktail and a few of the men tried to escape from the building,” Ahmed said, referring to a petrol bomb.
The police did not release the names of the suspects or the universities they attended.
“Right now for sake of investigation, we can’t tell you their identities, but I can confirm that they are Bangladeshi,” Ahmed said.
The operation came a month after gunmen stormed a restaurant and bakery in an upmarket area of the capital and killed 22 people after a hostage siege, including nine Italians, seven Japanese, an American and an Indian.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group (ISIL) later claimed responsibility for the attack.
Many Bangladeshis were shocked to discover that three of the five attackers, who were all killed in an army raid that ended the siege, had attended some of the country’s most prestigious private schools.
The men had gone missing from their homes in the months before the attack.
On Monday, authorities released a list of 68 names of young people whose families had reported them missing, suggesting some of them could have joined armed groups.
Source: Al Jazeera