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Seven dead in police raid on militant hideout in Dhaka

Sporadic killings of militants is not sufficient to combat extremism, says official from Dhaka Archdiocese

Seven dead in police raid on militant hideout in Dhaka

Bangladesh security personnel frisk a traveler at a checkpoint at the entrance of Hazrat Shah Jalal International Airport in Dhaka on March 17, following a suicide bomb explosion in the city. (Photo by AFP) reporter, Dhaka

September 8, 2017

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At least seven people, including two children, were killed on Sept. 6 as police in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka conducted a raid on an alleged militant hideout.

Members of the anti-terror Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) condoned off the area following a tip that a top extremist was holed up in an apartment building.

Abdullah, the alleged extremist, is thought to be a leader of Jamaat-ul-Mujahedin Bangladesh, a banned extremist outfit blamed for a series of deadly attacks in the country.

"Seven bodies recovered from the building were badly burnt and beyond identification," Benzir Ahmed, RAB director-general told reporters.

"They refused to surrender and killed themselves by blasting bombs made of chemicals and explosives."

Father Albert T. Rozario, convener of the Justice and Peace Commission in Dhaka Archdiocese, says sporadic killings of militants is not sufficient to combat extremism.

"Extremism is a global problem and Bangladeshi radicals are connected and inspired by transnational jihadists," he said.

"Moreover, there is a gradual decline in social and moral values amid ultra-modernism and consequent frustrations with present social and political systems."

Killings of militants might be a short-time solution, but it would be futile in the long run, said the priest.

"We need to find out how people get radicalized and combat the root causes including poverty, radical preaching and cyber-terror," he added.

Brigadier (retired) M. Shakhawat Hossain, a Dhaka-based security analyst, agreed that security personnel could not just rely on force and that wider measures were needed to stem the spread of extremism.

Muslim-majority Bangladesh, long known for religious harmony, has seen a spike in Islamic militancy since 2013.

Militants have killed about 50 people including atheist bloggers, writers, academics, gay activists, religious minorities and foreigners.

More that 70 alleged militants have been killed.

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