Bangladeshi security forces have detained four suspected members of a banned Islamist militant group who were believed to be planning attacks on celebrations of the traditional New Year, a police official said yesterday.
Muslim-majority Bangladesh has seen a surge in Islamist violence over the past couple of years, targeting liberal activists, as well as members of minority Muslim sects and other religious groups.
The four members of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh were arrested in an overnight raid in Mymensingh, 115km (72 miles) from the capital, Dhaka, said police official Mohammad
A large quantity of bomb-making material was seized and the suspects were believed to have been planning to target celebrations of the Bengali New Year on April 14, he said.
At least five Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen members have been killed in shootouts since November, as authorities have intensified a crackdown on militants trying to establish an Islamist state.
Celebrations marking the Bengali New Year have been hit by bomb attacks before.