At least four policemen and an office staff were injured in an explosion inside the Pallabi police station building in Dhaka on Wednesday morning.

The explosion took place after three suspects with arms and a weighing machine-like device were detained there amid police’s high alert in fear of possible terror attack.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police bomb disposal unit later claimed that they defused two more explosives concealed in the weighing machine-like device after securing the area.

The explosion took place hard on the heels of an explosion in Paltnan area on Friday and the recovery of a bomb-like object at Gulistan area on the following night with the police suspecting possible extremist links.

DMP deputy commissioner for media Walid Hossain told New Age that the Wednesday’s incident happened after the weighing machine-like device seized from three detainees exploded.

DMP additional commissioner (crime and operation) Krishnapada Roy at a spot press briefing said they were yet to find any extremist link with the explosion at the Pallabi police station.

The injured were Pallabi police inspector for operation Imranul Islam, sub-inspector Sojib Khan, PSI Ankus Kumar Das, Rumi Tabrez Haider and office staff Riaz.

They were immediately taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital where Imranul and Sojib were released after primary treatment, said Alauddin, residential medical officer of surgery ward at the hospital.

He said that Riaz’s left wrist had to be amputated and a finger of his right hand was blown away, while Rumi sustained splinter injuries in his limbs.

Ankus’s eyes were injured from the blast and he was immediately shifted to National Eye Institute, said Alauddin.

Krishnapada said police arrested three accused on early Wednesday and seized two arms and a weighing machine-like device in a raid at Kalshi graveyard area.

The arrested were Rafiqul Islam, Shahidul and Mosarraf.

They were from a local criminal gang and were accused in a number of cases with Pallabi police station, said the station inspector (investigation) Abdul Mabud.

He said that weighing device was kept in inspector Imranul’s office room and a team of DMP bomb disposal unit was asked to come and inspect out of suspicion why a gang was carrying such a device.

The device exploded when the disposal unit was set out to inspect it, said Krishnapada.

Immediately after the first explosion, police moved people from the surrounding areas of the police station and asked the adjacent shops to shut down as the bomb disposal team was working inside.

Later in the morning more team members of the bomb disposal unit and top DMP officials arrived on the spot and defused two more explosives hidden inside the device.

Krishnapada said that the first explosion was massive and it caused major damages to the police station compound.

He said police intelligence and counter-terrorism units were interrogating the three detainees for more details.

‘Primarily we suspect that they do not belong to any religious extremist group but are part of a criminal gang. Yet, at this moment, I cannot give a conclusive reply,’ he said

‘The terrorists from whom we found these explosives had a plan to commit a crime. This is a gang that has been involved in various crimes in the Mirpur area over the years,’ the additional commissioner added.

The month of August and Eid is ahead of us, he said, adding that security during Eid and throughout the month of August would be beefed up.

The law enforcement and intelligence agencies were recently alerted of possible extremist attack by the so-called Islamic State sympathisers in the country targeting law enforcers and foreign missions.

There was an explosion on Friday night at Paltan area where no casualties were reported and a bomb-like object was found at Gulistan on Saturday night.

Additional deputy commissioner of DMP’s bomb disposal unit Rahmat Ullah said, ‘After a primary observation, it seems that the type of explosives in Pallabi police station do not match the improvised explosive device (IED) used by extremist outfits.’

‘These types of explosives are used mainly by local criminal gangs, but the investigation is ongoing,’ he said.

DMP has formed a three-member committee to investigate Pallabi police station incident.

DMP joint commissioner for operation Munir Hossain would lead the three-member probe committee, said DMP joint commissioner for operation Shah Abid Hossain.

The committee was asked to submit a report within three days, said a DMP senior officer.

The officer said that the committee will investigate the situation and blast incident and whether there was any negligence from police part, said an officer.

Meanwhile, case was under processed to be filed with the police station in the blast incident by 9.30pm when the report was filed.

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