About a dozen army and police personnel were among the injured. Islamic State claimed responsibility "for a bombing on Bangladeshi forces in Sylhet", the SITE monitoring service said, citing the militant group's news agency Amaq. Army commandos had stormed the hideout, which belonged to a domestic Islamist group that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, and was blamed for a cafe attack in July last year in which 22 people were killed, most of them foreigners. Yesterday, commandos rescued all 78 people trapped inside the five-storey building for more than a day in an operation that was still underway.
The raid came after a string of suicide attacks on security bases this month. A forensic report confirmed that Friday's attack was a suicide blast that was the third incident involving explosives in the capital, Dhaka, in a week. Islamic State and al Qaeda have made competing claims over killings of foreigners, liberals and members of religious minorities in Bangladesh, a mostly Muslim country of 160 million people. The government has consistently ruled out the presence of such groups, blaming domestic militants instead.