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Bangladesh: Over 5,000 arrested in two days after wave of targeted killings

Bangladeshi authorities have arrested 5,324 people including 85 suspected Islamist militants during mass raids in the last two days in response to the recent surge of targeted killings.

Bangladesh: Over 5,000 arrested in two days after wave of targeted killings

The police released a statement saying that most of the arrested suspected militants are members of banned Islamist group Jama'atul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB). It is to be noted that the JMB men were earlier involved in bomb attacks in the country. Some JMB men had been arrested for their alleged involvement in the recent murder of a Hindu priest.

Last week, the wife of a police officer who had led high-profile operations against the JMB was shot to death. Police said that huge cache of arms and ammunitions were seized during the raids.
Bangladesh has recently seen a surge of targeted killings - carried out by Islamist radicals - that have claimed the lives of secularists, religious minorities and gay activists.

US ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Bernicat said that at least 35 such attacks were carried out in the span of 14 months. Of those, 23 have been claimed by an Islamist terror group.

The government is facing severe criticism for failing to take proper action to curb these killings. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Saturday that she wanted to bring all the perpetrators to justice. "Where will the criminals hide? Each and every killer would be brought to book as we have done after 2015 mayhem," Hasina said.

The government repeatedly accuses the opposition party Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and other Islamic fundamentalist groups for the attacks.

"All terror in Bangladesh for the last four years, the answer is very simple," Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said.

"The producer is BNP, the director is Jamaat e Islami, and the small actors on the ground are variants of ABT (Ansarullah Bangla Team), JMB, and certain other militant Islamic networks," he added.