DHAKA (AFP) - Two militants linked to the Islamist extremist group behind July's Dhaka cafe siege that left 22 people dead were killed on Saturday (Dec 24) after Bangladesh police raided a hideout in the capital, officials said.
Security forces, acting on a tip, besieged a flat in Dhaka's Dakshinkhan neighbourhood for more than 12 hours, with the operation coming to an end at around 4pm (6pm Singapore time) after officers exchanged gun-fire with the militants, police said.
A child was also injured when one of the militants, a woman who was holding the child, exploded a vest she was wearing.
"Two extremists were killed including a woman who detonated a suicide vest," Dhaka Metropolitan Police spokesman Masudur Rahman told AFP.
He said the two were members of a faction of the JMB (Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh), the banned extremist outfit blamed for a wave of attacks including the July 1 massacre at a Dhaka restaurant in which 22 people, mostly foreigners, were killed.
Dhaka police chief Asaduzzaman Mia said the female militant exploded the vest in an attempt to target the security forces.
"The woman came forward and tried to come near police... she conducted suicide blast," Mia told reporters after the raid.
Bangladesh has been reeling from a wave of attacks on foreigners, rights activists and members of religious minorities.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's secular government blames local militant groups like JMB for the carnage, rejecting claims by the Islamic State group and Al Qaeda.
Since the July massacre, security forces have shot dead nearly 50 Islamist militants including a Canadian of Bangladeshi origin who was accused of masterminding the restaurant attack.