Bangladeshi police on Friday shot dead two suspected members of an Islamist group blamed for several attacks in the Muslim-majority country, including the murder of progressive writer-publisher, officials said. The suspects were killed in what police described as "gunfight" in Sreenagar upazila of Munshiganj, bdnews24 reported.
Both men in their early 30s were the members of the banned Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) militant group, said Nazrul Islam, a district intelligence officer of Munshiganj police. The JMB is said to have links with the Islamic State.
The police had signalled two motor cyclists to stop around 2am on Sreenagar Highway which they ignored and entered the nearby Chashara KC road, said Additional Superintendent of Police Kazi Maksuda Lima.
"Police chased them and they opened fire forcing the police to retaliate. At one point, both of them were shot dead."
Two sub-inspectors and a constable of police were also injured in the incident, according to the police. The law enforcement agencies seized 11 handmade bombs, a pistol and two machetes from the scene.
"We had information that both of them were involved in the murder of blogger Shahjahan Bachchu."
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Abdur Rahman, the key suspect in the murder of Bachchu, died in a shootout with the police in June. On June 11, four unidentified assailants on two motorcycles gunned down Bachchu in the Upazila.
The 55-year-old former general secretary of the Communist Party of Bangladesh's Munshiganj district unit was a publisher of Bishaka Prokashoni. He was known as a free-thinking writer in his ancestral village Kakaldi.
The killing of Bachchu, 60, was the first Islamist attack on a prominent secular figure in two years. Police filed a case against four unidentified persons over the murder. The police said to have retrieved the information of the involvement of two more persons in the murder after interrogating Abdur Rahman, the report said.
The JMB was also blamed for the 2016 attack on a cafe in an affluent Dhaka neighbourhood, in which 18 foreigners and four other hostages were killed.