Bangladesh police arrest key suspect in Dhaka cafe attack

NEW DELHI: Police in northwestern Bangladesh on Saturday arrested a suspected key supplier of explosives in last year’s attack on a Dhaka cafe that left 20 hostages dead, including 17 foreigners, an official said.

Sohel Mahfuz was arrested along with three other suspected members of Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh, or JMB, said T M Mojahidul Islam, the police chief in Chapainawabganj district.He said Mahfuz, thought to be one of the top planners of the cafe attack, was taken to the capital, Dhaka, for interrogation.

Details of the other detainees were not clear, including what connection they might have had to the July 1, 2016, attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack but authorities blamed JMB.

Five militants from the banned group who stormed the cafe and took patrons hostage also died in the attack, along with two police officers. Since the attack, police and other security agencies have begun a manhunt and raided numerous places across the country, with the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina saying it has zero tolerance for such radical groups. Some 60 suspects, including some JMB commanders, have been killed in raids across Bangladesh since July 1.—AP

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