Military Wiki
2017 South Surma Upazila bombings
Part of Terrorism in Bangladesh
Location South Surma Upazila, Sylhet, Bangladesh
Date 25 March 2017
Target Civilians and police officers
Weapons explosive belt, bombings
Deaths 7 (+4 suicide bombers)[1][2]
Non-fatal injuries
Assailants Islamic State

A suicide bombing killed six (four civilians and two police officers) and wounded more than 40, several critically, in South Surma Upazila, Sylhet, Bangladesh. An army Lieutenant Colonel later died from his injuries from explosion.[2] It was a bombing attack on the Bangladesh Armed Forces gathered near a militant compound in Sylhet, Bangladesh on 25 March 2017.[3] Later, other bombs exploded and gunfire was reported. Islamic State claimed responsibility for this terror attack.[4][5][6] Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has denied the claims of the Islamic State and blamed the local Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh for the bombing.[7] The Bangladesh Army later found four dead bodies of militants at the suspected hideout.[1][8]


On Thursday, 23 March 2017, the Bangladesh Police surrounded a suspected militant hideout in South Surma Upazila, Sylhet, Bangladesh. Later, a SWAT team joined the police unit from Dhaka.[9] The housing complex has two apartment buildings. The Police unit was reinforced with personnel from Rapid Action Battalion on Friday.[10] On Saturday, the 1st Para Commando Battalion took charge of operations and named it Operation Twilight.[10] Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) chief Shaikh Abdur Rahman was also arrested from Sylhet city in 2006.[11]


On 26 March 2017 militants bombed a crowd of about 500-600 people gathered near the police perimeter,[12] which was about 400 metres from the militant hideout.[13] There were two bombs used in the attack, the first was thrown by two individuals from a motorcycle and the second one was left in a bag containing vegetables. Six people, including two police officers were killed in the explosion.[14] The second explosion occurred after police and RAB personnelmoved to the area after the first explosion.[13] 44 people were injured in the explosion.[15] The first explosion took place at 6:45 pm and the second one at 7:55 pm.[16] Lieutenant Colonel Abul Kalam Azad, director of intelligence of RAB was seriously injured in the explosion. He was taken to Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College, then Dhaka’s Combined Military Hospital. He was shifted to Singapore for better treatment.[17] Police inspector Monirul Islam of the bomb disposal squad and inspector Abu Kawser were killed in the second explosion.[18] Lieutenant Colonel Abul Kalam Azad died from his injuries.[2]


Operation Twilight was launched by the 1st Para Commando Battalion of Bangladesh Army under the command of GOC of 17th Infantry Division in Jalalabad Cantonment Major General Anwarul Momen.[19] The main gate of the building was blocked by the militants with a refrigerator with an IED attached to it.[20] The building had 30 apartments and 150 rooms, the militants were constantly changing their location.[21] The operation was launched on Saturday morning around 8am. The Commando unit was being assisted by SWAT and Bangladesh Police.[22] Security forces established a three kilometre perimeter around the militant hideout. The commandos rescued 78 civilians trapped in the building from Thursday.[23] Two militants were killed in the initial attack, one of who detonated a suicide vest. The militants had planted IEDs all over the building which slowed down the military operation.[24] Army spokesman, Brigadier General Fakhrul Ahsan, reported that the operation would take more time because of the presence of IEDs in "strategic points" in the building. The Bangladesh Army used RPGs and shells to drive the militants out without much success.[25] The commandos also used Armoured Personnel Carriers in the operation.[26] Finally four militants were found dead at the hideout.[1][8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "4 militants dead at Sylhet den: Army". The Daily Star. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Sun, The Daily. "Lt Col Abul Kalam Azad's namaz-e-janaza held" (in en). Lt Col Abul Kalam Azad's namaz-e-janaza held | 
  3. "Sylhet blasts kill four amid Bangladesh militant raid". BBC News. 
  4. "সিলেটে বোমা 'হামলার দায়' স্বীকার করলো আইএস". BBC Bangla. 26 March 2017. 
  5. "Sylhet raid Day 3: Eight dead, 40+ injured, Operation Twilight continues - Dhaka Tribune". 24 March 2017. 
  6. "Bangladesh bomb blasts kill six, scores injured". 26 March 2017. 
  7. "Home minister: Sylhet blasts not linked to IS | Dhaka Tribune" (in en-US). Dhaka Tribune. 2017-03-26. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Live: Four militants killed as Sylhet raid nears end". Dhaka Tribune. 
  9. Manik, Julfikar Ali; Anand, Geeta (2017-03-26). "Bangladeshi Assault Kills 2 Militants but Fails to End Standoff". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 "It seems the army has settled for a long haul in Sylhet to neutralise the militants". 
  11. "From Surjadighal Bari to Atia Mahal | Dhaka Tribune" (in en-US). Dhaka Tribune. 2017-03-27. 
  12. "Islamic State's Amaq reports bomb blast in Sylhet | Dhaka Tribune" (in en-US). Dhaka Tribune. 2017-03-26. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 "6 Killed, 50 Injured In Twin Blasts In Bangladesh's Sylhet. Anti-Terror Operation Under Way". 
  14. "Sylhet blasts kill four amid Bangladesh militant raid" (in en-GB). BBC News. 2017-03-26. 
  15. "Two terrorists killed as Sylhet operation continues for third day". WION. 2017-03-26. 
  16. "Sylhet raid: What we know so far". Prothom Alo. 
  17. "Explosives in Sylhet attack were time-bombs | Dhaka Tribune" (in en-US). Dhaka Tribune. 2017-03-27. 
  18. "2 militants killed, more remain in Sylhet den | Dhaka Tribune" (in en-US). Dhaka Tribune. 2017-03-27. 
  19. "Blasts during Sylhet hideout operation kill 6". Prothom Alo. 
  20. "3 killed, 31 hurt in blasts outside Sylhet ‘militant den’" (in en). The Daily Star. 2017-03-25. 
  21. "Blasts kill 5 amid raid" (in en). The Daily Star. 2017-03-26. 
  22. "Jt forces' anti-militant 'operation' launched". Prothom Alo. 
  23. "Gunfire, blasts heard as Sylhet militant hideout siege enters third day". 
  24. "Two killed, more ‘well-trained’ militants inside, says army in Sylhet". 
  25. "2 militants killed, Sylhet raid to linger: Army" (in en). The Daily Star. 2017-03-26. 
  26. "Bangladesh commandos storm militants hideout in Sylhet, rescue 78 civilians" (in en). 2017-03-25. 

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