DHAKA, July 7 (Xinhua) -- With heavy hearts Bangladesh Muslims Thursday celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr amid religious fervor, ending the month-long fasting in the holy month of Ramadan.
Muslims offered special prayers seeking divine blessings, peace, progress and prosperity in Eid congregations.
The main Eid congregation in the capital Dhaka was held at the national Eidgah (ground specified for saying Eid prayers) where Bangladeshi President Abdul Hamid and ministers, lawmakers and elite of the society said their prayers.
Hundreds of Eid congregations were held at different areas of the capital city.
The country's largest Eid congregation was held at Sholakia in Kishoreganj district, some 117 km northeast of capital Dhaka, where hundreds of thousands of Muslims gathered from across the country to offer prayers.
Braving every conceivable discomfort on creaky and congested transport, millions of people have gone to their village homes to be with their near and dear ones and celebrate the Eid-ul-Fitr.
The Bangladeshi government declared a nine-day holiday starting from July 1 for the biggest Muslim festival.
President Abdul Hamid Thursday hosted a reception in honor of foreign diplomats, top officials of the government and elite of the society on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr at the presidential residence.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina exchanged Eid greetings with foreign diplomats, politicians, professionals, government officials and a cross section of the people at her official residence.
The national flag of the country was hoisted atop government and non-government offices on the Eid day while the main streets of the Bangladesh capital were decorated with flags imprinted with "Eid Mubarak," meaning "blessed festival" or "May you enjoy a blessed festival."
Special diets reportedly were offered in hospitals, government-owned welfare centers and shelter homes for children, socially-handicapped people and the destitute.
Officials said additional forces have been deployed at all strategic points including commercial hubs and main Eid congregation grounds in major cities to shore up security on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr in the wake of July 1 terror attack at a Spanish restaurant in Dhaka's Gulshan diplomatic enclave.
At least 20 people including 18 foreigners and two police officers were killed in the attack claimed by the IS group.
Five attackers were also killed.
"We're celebrating Eid but we're not happy like we should be," said one Abdur Rahim.
Dressed in traditional dresses, men exchanged Eid greetings while women drew intricate patterns with henna on their hands.
Yet amid the festivities hung a shadow of fear.
"We're scared," said another Hamidul Islam.
Worries of many turned true as news came that two people including a police man and an attacker were killed and 10 others including several police were injured in several bomb explosions followed by exchange of gunfire between law enforcers and miscreants on Thursday morning at the entrance of Sholakia Eid prayer ground in Kishoreganj district, some 117 km northeast of Dhaka, where the largest congregation of Eid prayer in Bangladesh is held on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.
No other untoward situation has so far been reported.
Witnesses described hearing several explosions at the scene at around 9:30 a.m. local time.
We're closely monitoring the situation," said a police official who did not like to be named.
It was not known immediately whether the attackers have fled the scene or have been arrested by police.
The incidents came about a week after a terror attack on a restaurant in Dhaka's diplomatic enclave Gulsan.