Bloodbath continues: At least one killed, five injured in attack during Eid prayers in Bangladesh

Published July 7th, 2016 - 06:34 GMT
Congregation leader Maolana Fariduddin Masoud said no prayer-goers had been injured in the attack, which happened more than a kilometer away from the main congregation. (AFP/File)
Congregation leader Maolana Fariduddin Masoud said no prayer-goers had been injured in the attack, which happened more than a kilometer away from the main congregation. (AFP/File)

According to Bangladeshi police and local media, the incident occurred on Thursday at a school outside the prayer grounds in the country's northern district of Kishoreganj, about 140 kilometers northwest of the capital, Dhaka. At least 200,000 people had assembled to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan at the site.

"One police constable is dead and at least five others were injured," a police officer said.

Somoy, a private television station in Bangladesh, also broadcast footage of gunfire exchanges between police and a group of assailants, reporting that the policeman had been hacked to death.

Reports said suspected Daesh militants were behind the Thursday bomb explosion, which came only a week after Daesh claimed responsibility of a deadly attack on a cafe in Dhaka, in which a total of 20 civilians lost their lives.

Bangladesh restricts social media

On Wednesday, authorities in Bangladesh clamped down on social media sites involved in disseminating extremist ideologies after the recent attack on the cafe in Dhaka.

The move was prompted as part of a plan to prevent online radicalization of youths in the wake of the attack on the Gulshan café in the capital the last Friday. At least 20 civilians, including foreigners, were killed by the assailants before security forces stormed to end the siege. Two police officers and the six gunmen were also killed.

"Uploading, sharing, commenting or liking any video, images or speech in the social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in support of Daesh or militancy is a punishable offence," said Shahidur Rahman, the deputy inspector general of Bangladesh's police.

"If anyone is found to have engaged in such activities, tough legal action will be taken against that person," he added.

Authorities described the deadly attack as an "eye-opener," exposing the role of social media in recruiting young men for militant groups.

"Social media has become a fertile ground for recruiting militants," said Shahjahan Mahmood, the head of the Bangladeshi telecommunications regulator. "The attack was an eye-opener for us. They (militant groups) attract the young men through social media."

Several of the Dhaka attackers were allegedly young people who had had easy access to social media.

Daesh extremists, mainly active in Syria and Iraq, have long used social media as a recruiting tool to incite individuals around the world to perpetrate acts of terror.

The government in Bangladesh has repeatedly denied that international militant groups, like Daesh, have gained foothold in the country.

A massive crackdown on domestic radical groups last months ended in 11,000 arrests.


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