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Top Bangladesh militant captured -police

Written by: Staff

DHAKA, Mar 6 (Reuters) Bangladesh's second top Islamist militant was captured today after a gunbattle with security forces in a northern district, police said.

They said Siddikul Islam Bangla Bhai, chief of the outlawed Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh group, was arrested at his hideout with two of his associates in the district of Mymensingh.

His capture comes four days after another top fugitive Islamist, Shayek Abdur Rahman, was detained in the northeastern town of Sylhet.

Security forces had surrounded Bangla Bahi's hideout since yesterday midnight and closed in before sunrise.

The militant and his men threw bombs at the security forces and later opened fire, triggering a shootout, police said. It was not known if anyone was killed or wounded during the fighting.

Shayek Rahman led another outlawed Islamist group, Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen.

Both groups are fighting for the introduction of sharia law in Bangladesh, a mainly Muslim democracy, and are blamed for a wave of bombings, including suicide attacks, that have killed at least 30 people and wounded 150 since last August.

Reuters DKS DB0916

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