Bangladesh police on Saturday shot dead a suspected top Islamist extremist who allegedly had a key role in July's Dhaka cafe attack in which 22 people were killed, police told AFP.
"While we were conducting a raid to bust a militant den in Azimpur neighbourhood in Dhaka, the militants opened fire at law enforcers," Deputy Police Commissioner Mohammad Ibrahim said.
"One militant was killed and three women members were injured and later arrested," he told AFP.
Sanwar Hossain, a senior counter-terrorism officer, said they suspect the extremist to be Abdul Karim, a deputy of Tamim Chowdhury, who was the leader of a faction of the banned Islamist militant outfit, Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and was accused of being behind the cafe attack.
Chowdhury, a Canadian citizen of Bangladesh origin, was shot dead during a gunfight with police last month.
"In (our) primary investigation, we have learnt that the dead militant was Abdul Karim, 35, who was the second in-command of Tamim Chowdhury," said Hossain.
"He was also a mastermind and a planner of the Gulshan cafe attack and hired the flat used by the militants before the cafe attack," Hossain told AFP.
The JMB has been blamed for a wave of attacks on foreigners and religious minorities in the last three years that has killed at least 80.
With the latest death, at least 28 Islamist extremists have been shot dead by Bangladesh security forces since the cafe assault in which mostly foreigners died.
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