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Two suspected KNF members held, firearms recovered: Army chief

Chief of Army Staff General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed has said law enforcers have detained some suspects and recovered two firearms during raids in the hill districts.

The army chief told this to media during a visit to Bandarban at the Bandarban Cantonment on Sunday following the robberies, kidnapping, and gunfire in Ruma and Thanchi Upazilas in Bandarban’s two days ago. The top army officials were present during this time.

He said they are doing all they can. Due the security reason, the detailed about the detainees and their number will not be disclosed right now.

He said getting the directives from the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to take all necessary measures, combined operations of joint forces against the Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) have been carried out from Saturday night in Bandarban to curb the separatists following the terrorist attacks in Thanchi and Ruma.

Law enforcers succeeded in apprehending a few criminals and recovering some weapons, he said adding that the joint forces’ drive will continue until the situation becomes normal.

After being cornered last June, KNF appeared willing to negotiate. Unfortunately, their commitment to peace was superficial, as evidenced by their continued involvement in criminal acts, he added.

In an earlier address to the troops, General Ahmed called for bravery and vigilance in combating crime, underscoring the importance of this mission to national security and public well-being.

Earlier, the army chief visited Ruma and Thanci upazilas by helicopter around 10am.

On April 2, the members of the armed group KNF attacked the Ruma Upazila Parishad office, tried to rob Sonali Bank’s Ruma Branch in Bandarban, and abducted its manager Nizam Uddin. The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) rescued Nizam Uddin on April 4 and handed him over to his family members.

Meanwhile, a total of eight cases were registered in Ruma and Thanchi upazilas of Bandarban in connection with attacks on Sonali Bank and Krishi Bank, and the robbery of money and weapons.

Four cases were registered with Ruma Police Station and four others in Thanchi Police Station.

Bandarban Additional Superintendent of Police Hossain Md Raihan Kazemi said law enforcers along with the army and border guards started a joint operation against armed group KNF in the remote hills of Bandarban on Sunday (April 7).

The accused would be caught soon, he also said.

A tense situation has been prevailing in the upazila after the incidents.

Senior officials of the home ministry, security forces and administration have already visited the area.