Dhaka – Two policemen and a woman were killed Thursday in a bombing at a Muslim religious ceremony in northern Bangladesh, police said.
At least 12 other people were injured when explosives were detonated near a large congregation offering prayers in Kishoreganj district, police officer Meer Mosharraf Hossain told local media.
The attack occurred on the day of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
One of the suspected attackers was also killed, intelligence official Kazi Al-Amin Hossain told dpa by phone.
The prayer site came under attack from at least eight assailants, a police officer said, quoting one of the two suspects captured by the lawmen.
The officer, who preferred not to be named, said the attackers came from other districts three days ago to carry out the attack.
Mahmud Khan, spokesman of the Rapid Action Battalion, told dpa that the terrorists detonated homemade bombs at a security checkpoint about 500 metres outside the prayer venue as law enforcement was conducting searches.
The explosion left two lawmen dead and prompted police to open fire.
The terrorists responded with gunfire as they tried to escape, leaving a local woman and one of the suspects dead.
Two suspects were captured with guns, said Khan.
The woman, a Hindu, was killed in crossfire while she was in her home preparing bread for breakfast, her son, Basidev Bhoumic, told reporters.
At least eight victims were taken to Dhaka for treatment, said Brig-Gen Mahbub Uddin Ahmed, director of Mymensingh Medical College Hospital, where the victims were initially admitted.
“Those who carried out the attacks are enemies of Islam,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said. “They will not be spared.”
Former prime minister Khaleda Zia, also the chief of opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, called the government to bring the attackers to justice.
Security forces recovered a machete and a loaded handgun at the scene, local police chief Abu Sayem said.
The bombing followed last week’s terror attack on a restaurant in Dhaka that left 20 hostages, mostly foreigners, and two police officers dead.
The previous attack was claimed by Islamic State terrorists, but the government denied presence of IS fighters in Bangladesh.
No group has claimed the responsibility of the latest attack. (dpa/NAN)