Jihadists Strike Again in Bangladesh, Bombing Ramadan Festival

BANGLADESH, Dhaka : An injured policeman is escorted away by his colleague after an attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh, July 2, 2016. Gunmen have shot dead two police officials, police said, in the first attack on a foreign restaurant in Bangladesh claimed by Islamic State (IS) group jihadists. The gunmen stormed …

Less than a week after the Islamic State carried out an unprecedented attack in the capital of Bangladesh, Islamic jihadists have struck a second time, attacking Bangladeshi police guarding the country’s biggest festival marking the end of Ramadan.

Early Thursday, a group of some 6-7 Islamist militants fired upon police and hurled makeshift bombs, killing three people, including two police officers, at the country’s largest Eid gathering at Kishoreganj, some 60 miles from the capital city of Dhaka. Two of the attackers were also killed, said district council administrator Zillur Rahman.

The attack began while police were conducting security checks on people entering the Eidgah ground.

At least 13 other officers were wounded in the assault, which occurred just days after the Islamic State’s deadly siege at a café that left some 28 dead. On Wednesday an ISIS spokesman had warned that more violence would follow.

Along with the crude grenades, the attackers assailed police with “sharp weapons,” according to chief district administrator, Mohammad Azimuddin Biswas.

One policemen was killed in the blast and another was stabbed to death.

The Eid prayer gathering in Sholakia in northern Kishoreganj district had drawn at least 200,000 people to celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

There was no immediate claim for the attack, but militant violence has risen of late, with Muslim extremists demanding that the secular government revert to Islamic rule.

“It is not yet clear who was behind the attack but these terrorists are against the true religious practices of Islam and against the secular democratic government of Seikh Hasina,” said Bangladeshi Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu.

Bangladesh has requested that India send bomb experts of the National Security Group (NSG) to help with investigations into both terror attacks. They also asked India to examine the speeches of controversial Mumbai-based preacher Zakir Naik after reports that two of the Dhaka attackers were inspired by him.

One of the Dhaka assailants had quoted 50-year-old Naik, an Islamic televangelist, on Facebook.

“There are certain complaints from the Maulanas of Bangladesh that his (Naik) teachings are not in line with the Quranic teachings and Hadith,” information minister Hasanul Haq Inu said on Wednesday.

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