February 24, 2019

Suspected Bangladesh plane hijacker shot dead by special forces

Suspected Bangladesh plane hijacker shot dead by special forces

Passenger and crew evacuated unharmed after Dubai-bound flight lands in Chittagong

Bangladeshi commandos stormed a passenger jet in the south-east of the country on Sunday and shot dead an armed man who allegedly tried to hijack the Dubai-bound flight.

The suspect, described by officials as a 25-year-old Bangladeshi man, was shot as special forces rushed into the plane after it landed in Chittagong.

The 148 passengers and crew aboard Biman Bangladesh flight BG147 were all rescued unharmed, officials said.

The suspected hijacker was injured and died shortly after being arrested, Maj Gen Matiur Rahman, an army spokesman, told reporters.

He is a Bangladeshi. We found a pistol from him and nothing else, he said.

All the passengers aboard were evacuated after the airport was sealed of by army, navy and elite police. Air Vice-Marshal Mofid said he then kept the alleged hijacker busy on the phone while special forces units prepared for the raid.

He demanded to speak to our prime minister, Mofid said. He claimed he had a pistol, but we are not sure yet whether it is an actual gun or a fake.

The country’s civil aviation chief, Nayeem Hasan, said earlier that the suspect had claimed to have a bomb aboard the flight. From the talks and dialogue we have with him, it seems he is psychologically deranged, he said.

Another army spokesman, Abdullah Ibne Zaid, also said the would-be hijacker allegedly claimed to have a gun and a bomb strapped to his chest.

The army’s special forces conducted the operation and the armed man has been neutralised. The situation at Shah Amanat international airport is very much under the control of the Bangladeshi army, he said.

An investigation would be carried out to determine whether security lapses had occurred, he added.

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Bangladesh has experienced homegrown extremism in recent years, with Islamist outfits murdering atheist bloggers and progressive activists.

In a deadly attack claimed by Islamic State in 2016, militants killed 22 people including 18 foreigners at an upmarket cafe in Dhaka popular with westerners.

The attack prompted a swift crackdown by the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina. Hundreds of suspected militants and their sympathizers were arrested or killed in raids across the country.

Via: The guardian

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