DHAKA: Suspected Islamist militants today attacked police by hurling bombs on a check-post when a passenger bus they were travelling in was stopped for a security check in eastern Bangladesh's Comilla city.
The attack on police on the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway came a day after some Islamists tried to free a death row militant by ambushing a prison van near the capital. Police said the suspected militants attacked them when the capital-bound bus was stopped for security check.
"As soon as the bus was stopped, two men came out and hurled bombs at police shouting 'Allahu Akbar'. Police retaliated by opening fire and the two were nabbed while trying to flee," a police officer said. Police identified the two as 'Jashim', 30 and 'Hasan', 32, but did not provide any other details.
Comilla's police superintendent Abid Hossain said six crude bombs were found in their possession. "Our designated officials are quizzing the two ahead of subsequent legal actions...they appear to be militants but we could confirm their exact identity only after investigations," he said.
The incident came a day after people on the outskirts of the capital thwarted extremists' plan to free Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (Huji) chief Mufty Abdul Hannan, ambushing a convoy of prison vans carrying him along with 18 other prisoners from the capital to suburban Kashimpur Central Jail.
The people in the neighbourhood chased and caught one of the attackers while search is on to trace others. Until his arrest in late 2005, Hannan led a campaign of deadly bombings in Bangladesh in the mid-1990s, masterminding attacks on churches, secular gatherings and mosques used by Islam's minority sects.
HuJI is believed to have carried out the 2004 grenade attack on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who narrowly escaped the attack when 24 people were killed.