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Home >> World
UPDATED: 13:57, March 02, 2006
Bangladeshi Islamist extremist leader Shaikh Rahman surrenders
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Most wanted top Islamist leader Saikh Abdur Rahman of Jammat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) surrendered to security force on Thursday morning ending the 31- hours-arrest drama at northeastern Sylhet town, 344 km from Dhaka.

Political observers here believe with the arrest of Rahman, Islamist extremism in Bangladesh, which put the country into cross roads, will come to an end in this second largest Muslim country of the world with 140 million people.

Rahman was taken to RAB headquarters in Sylhet. After searching inside the house, security forces found explosives, detonator and gun powers.

The arrest drama began on Tuesday midnight after the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), an anti-crime elite force, got information from arrested JMB leader Hafez Mahmud on Monday in Dhaka. Mahmud is one of the member of JMB seven-member policy making body Majlis- e-Sura. Having the information of Rahman's den at Sylhet, the RAB, police and para-military Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) surrounded the house in Sylhet town Tuesday night.

The security forces since then adopted various methods of convincing Rahman to surrender, but he disagreed. On Wednesday, the chief executive of Sylhet talked with Rahman through hand loud speaker and later he stopped talking with the chief executive in the afternoon. The executive assured Rahman of all sorts of legal help for his safety, but he disagreed to surrender.

But Security forces continued their efforts to arrest Rahman alive. After mid-day the security forces smoked out Rahman's nine- member family out of the two-storied building, Rahman rented in January.

Rahman's son who came out with eight others informed security forces that there were huge explosives inside the house. On Wednesday morning there were some sounded explosions inside the house.

The security forces used water canon and spread hot waters inside the house twice to force him surrender, but to no avail. The whole day, the security forces fired gun shots to frighten Rahman.

Five bombs were thrown at the security forces by Rahman's men Wednesday evening. After that the security forces asked media people and other people, who gathered at the scene, to go at least 500 yards away from the house possibly for a final assault on the house. After the evening, the security forces went to the roof of the building breaking open a glass window.

They made a hole on the roof and focused a torch light inside the house when they found a manlike thing covered with close on a bed. They also saw some wires were connected with the manlike thing.

They became sure it was a high-power explosive, which army experts said were able to damage fully the building and the house adjacent. They also saw a man was moving inside the house.

Before noon Wednesday, the security forces disconnected electric, phone and gas supply connections of the house, owned by a Bangladeshi immigrant in the United Kingdom.

At late night, the security forces suspended their operation till Thursday morning, but security forces guarded the house.

The JMB was banned in February last year. The extremist group blasted about 500 bombs on August 17 across the country almost simultaneously. Since then the group made several suicide attacks killing 28 people, including judges, lawyers and police. Those attacks greatly affected the image of Bangladesh in the world.

Source: Xinhua

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