Canadian-Bangladeshi Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, the alleged mastermind behind the terrorist attack on a cafe in Dhaka last month, has been killed in an encounter, Press Trust of India reported.
Top counter-terrorism official Monirul Islam said police raided a two-storey house in Narayanganj, near the capital Dhaka, early on Saturday and killed the suspects. "He is the Gulshan attack mastermind and the leader of JMB (Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh, a domestic militant outfit)", a senior police officer Sanwar Hossain told AFP.
The Malaysian police said in July that at least two of the militants behind the cafe attack had attended Monash, although they did not name them.
As the law enforcers tried to enter the house, the criminals opened fire from inside, Haq said.
A SWAT team made the final push and fatally shot the suspects after they failed to surrender. "Among them, one of the dead persons looked exactly like the photo of Tamim Chowdhury that we have", Hoque said.
The terror group ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, even though authorities have consistently denied its presence in the nation and said the attack was carried out by homegrown militants, hinting toward JMB.
Bangladeshi authorities have said Chowdhury planned the July 1 assault on the Holey Artisan Bakery, a restaurant popular with expatriates and middle-class Bangladeshis. The militants in last month's attack were well-prepared and heavily armed with guns, bombs and large knives or swords, which police said were used to torture some hostages or mutilate their bodies once dead.
A series of attacks on free thinkers, bloggers, atheists and foreigners - around 45 people were killed in such strikes in over two years - had triggered worldwide concern on Bangladesh's internal security, causing embarrassment to Hasina.
"Tamim Chowdhury's chapter is closed here", Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan said. Some analysts believe Chowdhury acted as a coordinator for the Islamic State militant group in Bangladesh and northeastern India.
No charges have been brought in a series of court appearances and a judge refused another bail application on Wednesday, leaving the 47-year-old detained without access to a lawyer or visitation rights for his family.
Khan was taken into custody for questioning immediately after the attack, and police formally announced his arrest at the beginning of August.
"The main mastermind of the Holey Artisan (attack) has been eliminated", Hasina told reporters at her office, referring to the Gulshan cafe incident.