Dhaka, Mar 14: Five militants including the commander of a banned terror outfit were arrested by Bangladesh's elite security force which also seized a huge cache of explosives possibly destined for the country's Independence Day celebrations next week.
The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), acting on a tip-off, laid down a trap and arrested the members of outlawed Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) which was last year blamed for murder of two foreigners in the country.
The officers claimed to have seized a huge cache of plastic explosive gels and improvised explosive devices from the JMB men's possession besides arresting its 25-year-old commander Ameer Huzayfa Akand alias Shahin alias Siam, Dhaka Tribune reported.
Authorities suspect the militants had gathered in the city to plan attacks on Independence Day on March 26 or Pohela Boishakh, the first day of the Bengali calendar, which falls on April 14, RAB Media and Legal Wing Director Mufti Mahmud Khan said during a press conference here yesterday.
During primary interrogation, the JMB men also confessed to recruiting new members from different districts. Bengali new year, the country's largest festival, has been targeted in the past.
In 2001, at least 10 people were killed and scores of others injured when militants threw bombs at the crowd during the celebrations.