25 Mar 2017

IS claims blast at Dhaka police checkpoint

11:45 am on 25 March 2017

A man carrying a bomb has blown himself up at a police checkpoint near Bangladesh's international airport, in a blast claimed by Islamic State.

Bangladeshi police officers stand guard after a bomber was killed in a blast in front of a police checkpoint at Dhaka’s international airport.

A Bangladesh Rapid Action Battalion crosses a street after a bomber was killed in a blast in front of a police checkpoint at Dhaka's international airport. Photo: AFP

The militant group said it killed many officers and wounded others, an account not confirmed by authorities.

The blast on Friday was the third incident involving explosives in the capital in a week.

Police shot and killed a suspected militant who tried to cross a security checkpoint on a motorcycle armed with explosives in Dhaka's Khilgaon area on Saturday.

A day before that, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a security forces base, again near Dhaka's airport, injuring two police officers.

The militants named the latest attacker as Abu Mohammed al-Bengali, and said he had detonated his explosive jacket in the midst of police officers it dismissed as "apostates" in a message posted on supporters' social media accounts.

Dhaka city police chief Asaduzzaman Mia gave a different account at the scene, telling reporters the man had been carrying the bomb which exploded as he tried to hide it from police.

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.

Authorities have consistently ruled out the presence of such groups, blaming domestic militants instead.

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