DHAKA: Bangladesh police today shot dead a commander of outlawed militant outfit Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, who was involved in an attack on a temple and a bid to kill an Italian priest last year, along with his aide during a raid on their hideout.
The two militants of the banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) were killed in a shootout with police in Bogra district's Sherpur Upazila at around 4 AM.
Khalid Hasan alias Badar Mama, 30, of Chapainawabganj, was JMB's northern region military wing commander. The other was identified as Ripon, 25, of Rajshahi.
The gunfight broke out between the police and militants after police raided the area following a tip-off.
"Sensing police presence, the militants started firing. Police returned fire. Two persons were injured in the gunbattle," Bogra's Senior Assistant Superintendent of Police Gaziur Rahman was quoted as saying by bdnews24.com.
The two were taken to a nearby hospital where doctors declared them brought dead. Two police officers were also injured in the shootout.
He said Khalid was involved in an attempt to murder case of Italian priest Piero Parolari and an attack at Kantajew Temple in Dinajpur last year, according to the report.
Ripon was involved in a meeting which plotted the murder of Rajshahi University's English professor A F M Rezaul Karim Siddiquee who was hacked to death in April while he was on his way to the university, he said.
"That meeting was attended by Khalid, 'Bike Hasan', who was killed in a crossfire in Rajshahi, and 'Badhon', the militant who was killed in the raid that ended the siege at Gulshan's Holey Artisan Bakery," Rahman said.
At least 10 people were injured in December last year when unidentified assailants hurled three crude bombs inside the premises of a temple in northern Bangladesh where over 5,000 people had gathered for a show to mark a Hindu festival.
In July, five gunmen stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery and murdered 22 people including an Indian girl.
Today's incident occurred two days after police killed Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, the mastermind of Bangladesh's worst terror attack at a cafe here that claimed 22 lives including of an Indian girl.
The shootout took place hours ahead US Secretary of State John Kerry's day-long visit.