Gunfire has been heard from one of two houses in Narsingdi soon after police are all set to launch operations on the suspected hideouts for the banned militant outfit JMB in the houses. Around 12:30pm on Tuesday, newsmen gathered close to the scene and heard rounds of gunfire. The law enforcement agencies have cordoned off the two houses in Madhabdee and Shekherchar. Police have evacuated residents close to the houses and restricted entry within 500 yards of the houses. They advised people to stay home in the areas.
The police have surrounded the areas since Monday night. Firemen and a team of doctors are being kept on standby in both places.
“We are certain that there are more than one militants. We have an idea of what kind of weapons or explosives they may have,” Monirul Islam, chief of the counterterrorism unit, told reporters on the spot.
“The SWAT team will launch the operations. We are trying to speak to the militants, so that they surrender. We are giving utmost importance to the local residents so that they do not get hurt.”
The counterterrorism unit and RAB provided a back-up force to the police as the raids were ongoing in Madhabdee and Shekherchar, Narsingdi Superintendent of Police Saifullah Al Mamun told bdnews24.com on Tuesday morning.
The law-enforcement agencies surrounded the two houses around 9pm on Monday and a SWAT team joined the raids on early Tuesday, he said.
The police believe that the militants are holed up in an apartment of a seven-storey building owned by Afzal Haji in Madhabdee Municipality.
In Shekherchar, two other militants were staying on the fifth floor of Billal Hossains house. One of them was a woman.
The authorities brought fire trucks near both houses in the morning and asked the people in the neighbourhood not to come out. But the police have not given any information on when they would begin the raids.