Prison van carrying Bangladesh's top militant Mufti Hannan, aides attacked

An attempt was made to secure the release of a top militant and chief of the banned outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami, who had been awarded death penalty in Bangladesh, from police custody by using crude bombs.
Two crude bombs were hurled at a prison van carrying Mufti Hannan and some of his associates at Tongi of the city on Monday but they went off on the road missing the target.
Mizanur Rahman, jail superintendent of high security unit of Kashimpur Jail said the prison van came under the attack around 5.30 pm while Mufti Hannan and his aides were being taken to Kashimpur Jail from a Dhaka court.
Officer-in-charge of Tongi Police Station Firoz Talukdar said police escorting the prison van arrested a young man, Mostafa Kamal, 22, hailing from Pagli village in Tarakanda upazila of Mymensingh from the spot along with a bag containing two petrol bombs, two sound grenades, two crude bombs and two machetes.

Crude bomb. Photo: Sahidul Hasan Khokon

Another attacker fled the scene, the OC said, adding that the arrested youth reportedly confessed to police that he exploded the bombs targeting the prison van in exchange for Taka 10,000.
Authorities had also claimed that HuJiB was going to attempt to break Mufti Hannan out of jail before his execution.
Mufti Hannan was involved in the August 21 bombing at an Awami League rally last year, the 2001 Ramna bombing, the 1999 bombing of an Udichi cultural event in Jessore and an attempt to kill the British High Commissioner in Sylhet. He was sentenced to death in 2014.
Earlier, investigators had announced they had captured three militants over the past two weeks from Dhaka who were planning to bust Mufti Hannan out of prison. Two were arrested from Mohammadpur on February 22 and one was seized from Shahjahanpur on March 1.
According to law enforcers, the plan was very similar to the one used to snatch three condemned JMB militants from police custody in 2014, killing a police constable. Two of the militants have since escaped to India but the third was recaptured within hours by the police.
The audacious rescue attempt involved over two dozen militants rushing the prison van in Trishal in Mymensingh.



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