Bangladesh Arrests Head of Banned Militant Group

Posted August 18th, 2011 at 11:55 am (UTC-5)
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Security forces in Bangladesh say they have detained the head of the banned militant group Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami.

Military officials say Maulana Mohammad Yahia and two of his associates were arrested early Thursday in the Kishoreganj district.

Yahia is accused of involvement in a deadly bomb blast during a New Year's celebration in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka in 2001 and the 2004 grenade attack on a political rally held by current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Ms. Hasina lost part of her hearing in the 2004 attack.

Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami, or HUJI, is waging a violent campaign to introduce strict Islamic laws in Bangladesh. The militant group also operates in Pakistan.

Officials say HUJI may have forged ties with the Pakistani-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, blamed by India for the 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai.

Indian authorities have arrested suspected HUJI members in recent years in connection with bomb attacks in several Indian cities.