Dhaka, March 24 (BDNews24): One person has been killed in an explosion in front of a police box at the main entrance to Dhaka’s international airport amidst heightened security after a suicide attack on a RAB camp in the vicinity a week ago.
The deceased, described as a young man by an airport police officer, could not be identified immediately.
Armed Police Battalion (APBn) Assistant Commissioner Tanzila Akter told bdnews24.com that the blast occurred at 7pm on Friday and the man died on the spot.
She initially called it a ‘suicide attack’, but Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia said it was not an attack, rather “the explosion occurred in a trolley bag a man was carrying on the street, and he was killed in the blast.”
The metropolitan police chief said the death of the person was the only casualty caused by the blast.
Security was strengthened at the airports and prisons across Bangladesh after a suicide attacker was killed in a blast at the RAB barracks in Ashkona near the airport on Mar 17.
A suspected suicide attacker was shot dead at a RAB check post in Khilgaon on the following day.
Now, a blast has occurred in the sensitive area only a few hundred metres from the airport.
The law-enforcing agencies said militants were involved in the RAB camp attack, but Asaduzzaman declined to comment on whether militants were involved in the blast near the airport.
The place where the blast took place is close to a police box used by assistant commissioner of traffic police (Uttara region).
It is also used as the airport police box and the office of the patrol inspector of police.
An eyewitness told bdnews24.com that he saw police and army personnel gathering at the scene of the blast after he heard a loud bang.
Police Sergeant Motaher Hossain who was on duty on the airport side of the road said: “I heard a sudden loud bang from the east where our traffic box is situated. First I thought a tyre burst, but later heard that a suicide attack was carried out.”
bdnews24.com has received a photo of the body of a man wearing jeans, age between 20 and 25 with the right side of his belly blown off, lying at the scene of the blast.
Police have cordoned off the area, and the media are not allowed to cross the barrier.
A huge number of RAB and police personnel took the position at the scene hiding it from the onlookers with pieces of clothes. Crime scene yellow tapes were also used to demarcate the area.
Police’s bomb disposal unit also swept the area to check if any other bomb remained.
Traffic on the airport road remained open.
(The featured picture at the top is that of the scene at Dhaka airport after the blast)