DHAKA, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Four suspected militants were killed as Bangladeshi law enforcers on Thursday stormed a militant hideout at Sitakunda on the outskirts of the country's seaport city Chittagong, some 242 km southeast of capital Dhaka.
Chittagong Range Deputy Inspector General of Police Shafiqul Islam told journalists that four militants of Neo-JMB (an offshoot of the banned militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh) were killed during the raid.
At least two of them reportedly blew themselves up in "suicide explosions" and two others were shot by law enforcers.
Meanwhile, two policemen and a fire fighter were injured.
Islam said the operation "Assault 16" of the joint forces also recovered huge quantity of arms and explosive devices including a suicide vest, three handmade grenades, a pistol, circuits used for making bombs and 12 bullets.
The militants fired and lobbed hand-made grenades as police members stormed their hideout at about 6:00 a.m. local time after encircling it since Wednesday night, he said.
Chittagong police sealed-off the building after arresting a couple with arms and explosives from another hideout on Wednesday afternoon.
According to the official, 20 members of seven families, who were trapped inside the building during the overnight raid, were taken to safety before the final assault began Thursday morning.
Police tracked down the hideout Wednesday hours after they busted another "Neo JMB" den only a kilometer away, and arrested two suspected militants who claimed to be a couple and had a two-month-old baby with them.
The couple are also suspected members of neo-JMB, an offshoot of banned militant outfit, which is blamed for July 1 last year attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka's diplomatic quarter, in which 20 hostages, mostly foreigners, were killed.
In the wake of the Dhaka cafe attack, Bangladeshi law enforcers conducted many such big operations against militants. Tamim Chowdhury, a Bangladeshi-Canadian, and Sarwar Jahan, identified as Neo JMB chief who was killed during a raid on Oct. 8 last year, have been blamed as the mastermind of the brutal attack on the Spanish cafe.
Chowdhury was also killed in a police raid on Aug. 27 last year. JMB carried out a series of bombings in 63 out of the country's 64 districts, including the capital of Dhaka on Aug. 17, 2005, leaving two people dead and 150 others injured.
Hundreds of JMB leaders and activists were rounded up while six top leaders of the group, including Shaikh Abdur Rahman, were hanged in 2007.