DHAKA, July 8 (Xinhua) -- An extremist accused of being a mastermind of Bangladesh's most horrific terror attack that killed 22 hostages last July has been held along with three others in the country's Chapainawabganj district, some 302 km northwest of capital Dhaka.
TM Mojahidul Islam, the district's police chief, told journalists that a team of law enforcers arrested the Dhaka cafe attack planner and three other militant suspects early Saturday.
He said Mahfuz, who was wanted in a case filed in connection with terrorist attack in Dhaka'diplomatic enclave Gulshan on July 1, 2016, has been taken to the capital city for further interrogation.
According to the official, Mahfuz maintained close connections with many already arrested and killed cafe attack designers.
Bangladesh police have reportedly so far hunted down and killed at least 40 militants linked to the cafe attack, including mastermind Tamim Chowdhury who was killed in a police raid on Aug. 27 last year.
Islam said all the four militant suspects who were arrested on Saturday are members of "Neo-JMB", an offshoot of banned militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), which is blamed for the attack.
Five gunmen stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery cafe in Dhaka's diplomatic area Gulshan on July 1, 2016, and killed the hostages, mostly foreigners, with guns and machetes, and used the victims' phones to publish images of the bodies on the social media.
Bangladesh Army commandos stormed the restaurant later and five attackers were killed and one was arrested.
Two police officers were also killed in the attack.
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) had then claimed responsibility for the Dhaka cafe attack. But Bangladeshi authorities rejected the claim, saying operatives of the banned local militant outfit plotted the attack to boast about their existence.