Security forces in Bangladesh are carrying out an operation to flush out suspected Islamist militants from a house on the outskirts of the capital city. A team of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), which draws personnel from military and police forces, surrounded the tin-shed house in suburban Savar around 1 AM last night after a tip-off that militants are holed up inside the building. The militants were ordered to surrender, but they started firing, triggering heavy exchange of gunfire, operation chief RAB-4 Commanding Officer Additional DIG Lutful Kabir said. The militants inside the house fired five rounds of shots when they became aware of the RAB presence, Kabir said. "We asked the militants to surrender using our megaphones, but instead they hurled abuse at the law enforcers and started firing," he said. RAB Media Wing Director Commander Mufti Mahmud Khan, said "We are trying to make them surrender.
We are still not sure about which militant outfit they belong." The owner of the building, Ibrahim, was detained and questioned. RAB officials say that a man named Azad, who identified himself as a garment worker, had rented the house two months ago. The raid was part of an intensified crackdown on militants following the last year's Dhaka cafe attack which claimed 22 lives.
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