2 policemen injured in ISIS attack targeting B’desh minister in Dhaka

Dhaka: A Bangladesh minister escaped an assassination bid when a blast carried out by the Islamic State militants missed his car and hit his security team, injuring two policemen in Dhaka, a media report said on Sunday.

The bomb was thrown from the footbridge at the Science Lab intersection on Saturday night when Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives minister Tazul Islam was passing through the area, the Daily Star reported, quoting police and eyewitnesses.

The minister was unhurt in the attack.

“Six policemen were in the minister’s security team and the minister was going to a programme of Border Guard Bangladesh. We got stuck at the traffic lights at Science Lab intersection. The bomb exploded when I got off (from the escort vehicle) and walked ahead to ask traffic police to clear the way for the minister,” the paper quoted injured ASI AB Shahabuddin as saying.

Traffic constable Aminul Islam was also injured in the blast.

Aminul suffered splinter injuries to his right hand fingers while Shahabuddin had injuries to his legs, one of which had a fracture. They were at Dhaka Medical College Hospital and out of danger, said a doctor.

“Police are investigating the incident and trying to identify the attacker by scrutinising the CCTV footage,” said Asaduzzaman Miah, commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police.

A CCTV camera installed at a shop nearby did not cover the spot while another one at a mosque was broken, an officer said.

Hours after the blast, SITE Intelligence Group, an American company that tracks online activity of white supremacist and jihadist organisations, said the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Bangladesh has repeatedly denied the presence of the Middle Eastern terror group in the country. However, the ISIS and al-Qaeda in Indian Peninsula have claimed responsibility for some of the attacks.

An official, requesting anonymity, told the paper that the bomb was similar to the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) recovered at the capital’s Paltan and Khamarbari on July 24.

“We suspect that the same group who planted the IED’s at Paltan and Khamarbari are behind this attack. But investigation could prove that,” the officer said.

On May 26, two people, including a woman police officer, were injured after a bomb went off near a police pickup in the Malibagh intersection.

On April 29, two traffic police constables and a community traffic policeman were injured in a blast in Gulistan.

Investigators had found that CCTV cameras near Paltan, Khamarbari, Gulistan, and Malibagh spots had been damaged days before the bombs went off.