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Militant suspected over Dhaka cafe massacre killed in shootout

A militant suspected of being one of the leaders of an attack on a popular cafe in Bangladesh's capital that left 20 people dead last year has been killed in a shootout with security officials, police said.

Nurul Islam Marzan was one of two people killed in the shootout early on Friday in Dhaka, according to c ounter-terrorism unit chief Monirul Islam.

Also killed was Saddam Hossain, an accomplice of Marzan, said home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal.

Police had said earlier that Marzan was one of the leaders of the July 1 attack on a Dhaka restaurant where 20 hostages, including 17 foreigners, were killed.

Mr Khan said Saddam was involved in many attacks in recent years, including the killing of a Japanese citizen in the hands of suspected militants in the country's north.

Marzan was identified by police as a leader of the Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh group.

Since the attack on the cafe, security officials have killed about 40 alleged Islamist militants in raids.

There has been a surge in attacks in Bangladesh in recent years, and dozens of secular bloggers, writers, publishers and members of minority groups and foreigners have been targeted by radical Islamists.

The Islamic State group has claimed many of the attacks including the July siege, but Bangladeshi authorities have repeatedly said IS has no presence in the Muslim-majority country.

AP

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