Bangladesh police kill Dhaka cafe attack mastermind in pre-dawn raid

The police say it was not clear whether Marzan died in a gunfight or committed suicide.

Bangladesh police arrests two people over deadly Dhaka cafe siege
Holey Artisan Bakery cafe in Dhaka on July 8, 2016, where 20 hostages were killed in a terrorist attack Reuters

An Islamist extremist, who was accused of being one of the masterminds of the deadly Dhaka café attack in July 2016, was killed by Bangladeshi police during a pre-dawn raid on Friday.

A spokesman for the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) said the bodies of Nurul Islam Marzan and another suspected extremist were found after officers raided a property at Rayer Bazar neighbourhood in Dhaka.

"We found two bodies. One of them was Marzan. And another was a suspected extremist," Yusuf Ali, additional deputy commissioner of DMP, told AFP. He added that it was not clear whether Marzan died in a gunfight or committed suicide.

Ali said Marzan, who was aged around 30 was "one of the masterminds" of the deadly siege at the upmarket Holey Artisan Bakery on Jul 1 last year that killed 22 people, including 18 foreign hostages.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group already claimed responsibility for the deadly Gulshan attack and posted images of the gunmen, who had posed with the IS's black flag. But, Bangladesh government always denied their presence in the country. The authorities blamed the home-grown Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) militants for the assault.

Bangladesh authorities have accused the group of being behind a wave of killings of religious minorities, foreigners and rights activists.

Following a thorough investigation, Bangladesh police had arrested several people, who were allegedly involved in the attack and had raided a number of places killing a number of militants.