Dhaka: Nurul Islam Marzan, one of the key figures behind the 2016 Gulshan café attack, has been killed in a gunfight with the police in the Bangladesh capital, a senior police officer said here on Friday.
The incident took place at Mohammadpur in Dhaka around 3 a.m. in the Beribadh area, Dhaka Metropolitan Police's counter-terror unit chief Monirul Islam told bdnews24 on Friday morning.
Marzan was killed along with an accomplice, Saddam Hossain, an accused in several murder cases, including that of Japanese national Kunio Hoshi, the police added.
Confirming the identities of the Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) leader and Hossain alias Rahul, who was also one of the organisers for Jamaat-e-Islami's student affiliate, the police said Marzan was labelled as the mastermind of the attack on Holey Artisan cafe in the Gulshan area of Dhaka.
On July 1, 2016, five militants took hostages and opened fire at the Holey Artisan Bakery cafe, killing 29 persons, mostly foreigners, including 19-year-old Indian Tarishi Jain.
On September 10, 2016, police detained three persons from Azimpur including the neo-JMB leader Marzan's wife Afrin, alias Prioti.
Counter-terrorism unit chief told a press conference on August 12, that pictures from Holey Artisan were sent out to apprehend and identify the attackers.
Earlier, a Bangladeshi-Canadian Tamim Chowdhury, who was singled out by the police as the neo-JMB chief and one of the key players in recent terror activities in Bangladesh, and two others were killed in a police operation in Narayanganj on August 27.
Another counter-terrorism official, Mohibul Islam, told bdnews24 that acting on a tip-off, one of the units set up a check-point at the Mohammadpur Beribandh area on Thursday night.
"At around 3 a.m. they (Marzan and Hossain) came to the check post area. When confronted by the police, they threw grenades and opened fire. Police fired back and two of them were injured.
"When they were taken to the hospital, the duty doctor pronounced them dead," Mohibul said.
Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) police post Sub Inspector Bacchu Mia said that two persons with gunshot wounds were brought to DMCH on a Mohammadpur Police Station vehicle around 3.40 a.m.
"One of them was about 28 years of age and the other 32. They had bullet wounds on the head and in the chest," he added.
Mohammadpur police station Officer-in-Charge, however, had no information regarding the two others taken to DMCH in critically injured condition.
"I am not fully aware of the incident," he said adding, "I will be able to let you know later."