Sun May 7, 2017 01:35PM
Police and army commandos take part in an operation to storm a militant hideout in Sylhet in northeastern Bangladesh on March 25, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Police and army commandos take part in an operation to storm a militant hideout in Sylhet in northeastern Bangladesh on March 25, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

At least two militants have been killed when anti-terrorism officers raided their hideout in western Bangladesh.

Mizanur Rahman, a district police chief, said one militant blew himself up and another was shot dead after police cordoned off a one-storey building in a remote village in Jhenaidah early on Sunday.

The raid was conducted on a tip-off that extremists were holed up there.

"There was an exchange of fire between counter-terrorism police and the extremists. An extremist was killed," Rahman said.

Another extremist carried out a blast when police came closer to the building, the official added. "He died on the spot."

At least two Bangladeshi police officers were also injured in the explosion.

The extremists were reportedly members of a new faction of Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), which has been blamed for a wave of deadly attacks against religious minorities and foreigners in the country.

Bangladesh has suffered a wave of attacks in recent years. Militants have targeted atheist bloggers, writers, publishers and members of religious minorities.

In a deadly siege in July 2016, a band of militants killed more than 20 hostages, including 17 foreigners, in a cafe in the capital, Dhaka.

Although many of the terrorist attacks conducted by local extremist groups in Bangladesh in the past year have been claimed by the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group and al-Qaeda, the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina says local radical outfits, particularly the JMB, have also been responsible.

People watch during an operation to storm a militant hideout in the town of Moulvibazar in northeastern Bangladesh on March 30, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Authorities reject the notion that global terrorist groups maintain a foothold in the Muslim-majority country of over 160 million people.

Since the bloody July attack in Dhaka, Bangladeshi security forces have stepped up a hunt for militants behind the spate of recent attacks across the country. Dozens of suspected militants have been killed, including what authorities have identified as the founders of the new JMB faction.