Police in Bangladesh stormed a hideout in Dhaka killing nine militants who were preparing a large-scale bomb attack, officials said.
The Bangladeshi police was tracking the militants in the Kallyanpur neighbourhood after receiving intelligence that militants were using a five-storey building as a base of operations
"This morning police launched Operation Storm 26 and was able to destroy the militants." Dhaka additional police commissioner Sheikh Maruf Hasan said.
Deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Masud Ahmed said "nine Islamist militants were killed after a two hour-long gunfight."
National police chief AKM Shohidul Haque said all were possibly members of the homegrown militant group Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).
The group is accused of being involved in the Dhaka cafe attack which left 20 people dead mostly foreigners, earlier this month.
Haque also said that no link was found between the militants and the DAESH terrorist organization even though they were wearing the group's signature black robes and turbans.
“We think they are all JMB members…We have not found any link with IS. They are all local Bangladeshi militants,” he said.
According to the police chief, the suspected militants were planning to carry out a major assault.
"From police intelligence sources we learnt that they were planning to carry out a major incident. We conducted the operation to foil any such incident," Haque said.
The landlord of the building and his wife were also arrested during the raid, police said.
Last month, the Bangladeshi government launched a nationwide crackdown to hunt more than a dozen suspected militants including one of JMB’s regional heads and arrested thousands in series of mass arrests.