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Suicide blast kills bomber at Ashkona RAB camp

Security beefed up at airports, prisons

 Security beefed up at airports, prisons
photo by NN Photo

A suicide bomber was killed in blast after attempting to enter a makeshift camp of the Rapid Action Battalion in Dhaka\'s Ashkona area on Friday. Two RAB members also injured in the incident.

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18th-Mar-2017       
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Staff Reporter :
A suspected bomber died in what is believed to be a suicide blast at a barrack of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) in Dhaka's Ashkona area during Jumma prayers on Friday.

The bomber died on the spot wounding two RAB men who were being treated at the nearby Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Dhaka Cantonment, Mufti Mahmud Khan, Director of the Force's Legal and Media Wing, told journalists.

Khan said the attack appeared to be an act of any militant outfit but it was not clear immediately which of the Islamist outfits staged it.

"Right now we are, however, concentrating our attention to ascertain if the complex and the neighbourhood are secured," he said as police's counter terrorism unit with bomb disposal team reached the scene while thoroughfares around the complex were blocked for vehicular movements.

The spokesman confirmed witnesses accounts that the suicide bomber, aged about 25-30, sneaked into the complex crossing the wall and exploded a powerful bomb as several RAB men gathered at a common bathing place there ahead of Jumma prayers.

Seeking anonymity, several RAB and police officials, who witnessed the body, endorsed the devastation caused by the blast force. The youth had his torso blown off.

Another official of RAB told The New Nation that the suicide bomber was challenged by the RAB men inside the bathing place as he entered there on the plea of performing ablution,   an act of washing oneself ahead of prayers.

The Ashkona RAB barrack is a proposed site for the headquarters of the elite force. Currently, it is mostly an empty space fenced by brick walls. Inside, a large barrack is situated.

A witness Mamunur Rahman, who was going to Haji Camp to offer Jumma prayers, said he heard a loud bang. "When I peeked through, I saw a man lying about and his flesh scattered everywhere."

A witness Mamunur Rahman, who was going to Haji Camp to offer Jumma prayers, said he heard a loud bang. "When I peeked through, I saw a man lying about and his flesh scattered everywhere."

However, RAB men had cordoned off the blast site and were not allowing journalists to enter. Intelligence officials and bomb disposal units had entered the site and were examining the site till filing this report.

The incident takes place a day after police busted a suspected militant den in Chittagong's Sitakunda. The operation - code named Assault 16 - ended in deaths of four militants.

Meanwhile, immediately after the 'suicide blast', authorities have beefed up security at all airports and prisons in Bangladesh as proposed by the Headquarters of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) in Dhaka.

"Additional precautions have been taken at every airport across the country following the incident," said AKM Rezaul Karim, Public Relations Officer of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB).

Number of security personnel has also been increased at all entrances of the airports, he added.

Meanwhile, Col Iqbal Hasan, Additional Inspector General (Jail), told The New Nation that they have stepped up security measures at all the prisons across the country.

Under new security measures, jail guards have been advised to wear vests on duty and rigorously screen inmates before taking them into prisons.

There will be strict surveillance surrounding jail areas and the forces have been instructed to take appropriate measures if they encounter any suspicious activities, he said.

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