DHAKA, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Operation Twilight to flash out a militant den by joint forces led by Bangladesh Army Para-Commando Battalion on Monday spilled into its fourth day since Friday, leaving so far eight people including police officers and two militants dead.
Commandos have been continuing the operation at a suspected militant den in the country's Sylhet city, some 240 km northeast of capital Dhaka
Bangladeshi Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told journalists Monday in Dhaka that commandos are taking time because of the high risk involved.
He said the militants have planted a huge stash of Improvised Explosive Devices in the building, mostly on the ground floor and the staircase.
Sporadic gunshots were heard since Monday morning around the militant hideout and was underway in regular intervals.
Against this backdrop, restriction net was even wider as the law enforcers formed a five-km secured area around the five-story building "Atia Mahal".
Hundreds of people reportedly left the area on Monday fearing more volatility. Eighty-six residents including six on Monday from adjacent houses have so far been evacuated to safe areas.
Utilities of the militant den surrounding entire area have already been disconnected.
A Bangladesh Army spokesman has said there were possibility of one or more militants remaining inside.
Brigadier Gen. Fakhrul Ahsan at press a briefing Sunday claimed to have killed two suspected militants during the raid at the militant hideout.
Ahsan, spokesperson of the operation, said, "two militants have so far been killed inside. Several more well trained militants still were active inside."
A senior Sylhet police official earlier said the militants rented the ground floor of a five-story building three months ago.
Authorities Sunday slapped a curfew in the area as six people, including two policemen, were killed and dozens of others injured in two explosions Saturday outside the militant hideout.
The Islamic State (IS) reportedly claimed responsibility for the attacks which came after 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 240 km southeast of capital Dhaka.
Bangladeshi police have hunted down and killed scores of militants linked to the deadly July 1, 2016 cafe attack.
Neo-JMB (an offshoot of the banned militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh) has been blamed for an attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka's diplomatic quarter last July, in which 20 hostages, mostly foreigners, were killed.
Neo-JMB leaders Tamim Chowdhury, a Bangladeshi-Canadian, and Sarwar Jahan have been blamed as the masterminds of the brutal attack on the Spanish cafe. Both Chowdhury and Jahan were killed in separate police raids last year.
In the wake of the Dhaka cafe attack, Bangladesh police have conducted series of large-scale operations against militants.