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    Bangladesh arrests 4 Huji militants

    Dhaka (PTI): Four suspected Harkat-ul-Jihad (Huji) militants have been arrested by the Bangladesh's elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion in southwestern Khulna, officials said here on Wednesday.

    RAB officials said the Huji militants were arrested following a tip off and during interrogations they confessed to have hatched a plot to get free their detained top leader Mufti Abdul Hannan from jail.

    Officials said the police has submitted a charge sheet in a Dhaka court accusing 21 Huji militants, including its top leader Hannan and former minister Abdus Salam Pintu of detained ex-premier Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), of carrying out a deadly grenade attack on a rally.

    Twenty four people were killed in the attack on the rally of ex-premier Sheikh Hasina's Awami League. Several others were wounded but Hasina narrowly escaped the attack.

    The militant outfit is also believed to have carried out several other blasts including a 2001 bomb attack during Bengali New Year celebrations at Dhaka's Ramna Batmul leaving 12 dead and blasts on a Communist Party rally in 2005 which killed five people and Bangladeshi born former British envoy in Dhaka Anwar Chowdhury.

    Bangladesh banned Huji in October 2005 while the US earlier this year designated it as a "foreign terrorist organisation" and "specially designated global terrorist".

    Indian security agencies suspected the outfit's links in the Jaipur serial bombings.

    Huji announced its emergence on April 30, 1992 in Bangladesh through a news conference wearing sleeveless olive combat jackets over shelwar-kameez with its leaders sitting shoulder to shoulder at the National Press Club and boastfully described how they had fought in the previous Afghan war.

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