KNF attacks Thanchi bazar again, joint forces resist

STAFF CORRESPONDENT

Just hours after releasing the abducted manager of Sonali Bank’s Ruma branch, the Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) launched another attack, targeting the Sonali Bank branch in Thanchi upazila. The attack, which occurred around 8:30 pm on Thursday (April 4), triggered a fierce gun battle between KNF terrorists and joint forces comprising police and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB). The exchange of gunfire spread panic throughout Thanchi bazar and its neighboring areas.

Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Mohammad Mamun confirmed the intense gunfire between KNF, police, and BGB in the Thanchi bazar area and health complex, beginning at 8:30 pm on Thursday.

“Around 9 pm, an armed group opened fire in Thanchi bazar. They subsequently targeted the police station, triggering a counter-response from police and BGB. Gunfire was also reported near the hospital,” UNO Mamun stated.

Jasim Uddin, Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Thanchi police station, informed media outlets at approximately 10 pm that the shooting had subsided, but the situation remained tense. “We suspect the terrorists are still positioned near the police station, and we remain on high alert,” the OC stated.

While police and administration officials declined to explicitly name KNF, local sources identified them as the “Bawm Party” responsible for the assault.

DIG of Police’s Chittagong Range, Noor-E-Alam Mina, offered further clarity: “KNF terrorists opened fire on the police station from the hills east and south of Thanchi around 8:30 pm. The police returned fire from the station. Our patrol team, present in the bazar, also engaged in the exchange.”

“We later liaised with the BGB and the Army, who joined the police in the firefight. Calm has been restored for now, but a tense atmosphere prevails. We remain vigilant,” the DIG added.

Thanchi police station OC Jasim Uddin estimated approximately 500 rounds of ammunition were exchanged in the gunfight. “We are maintaining on high alert throughout the night. Casualties, if any, cannot be ascertained until morning.”

On Thursday evening, around 7 pm, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) successfully secured the release of Nezam Uddin, the manager of the Sonali Bank’s Ruma branch, who had been kidnapped. KNAF terrorists abducted him during Tarawih prayers on Tuesday night following their attack on the bank, where they looted weapons and ammunition from the police and Ansar personnel guarding the premises. In a follow-up attack on Wednesday, KNAF targeted two banks in Thanchi, looting cash and mobile phones.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan has asserted that KNF’s recent string of attacks are designed to assert their presence.

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