Two militants suspected to be Al-Qaeda members who were on death row for killing Avijit Roy, an American blogger have escaped from the court. Their victim who was critical of fundamentalist Islam
was hacked to death with machetes by the militants on the streets of Dhaka in 2015.
The militants were being taken as a group to the court hearing when two of the convicts, Moinul Hasan Shamim
and Abu Siddiq Sohel escaped in what appeared to be a well-planned operation.
Suspected members of the Al-Qaeda militant group stormed the motorcade once it arrived at the Dhaka court complex and several motorcycles accosted the police escort. They then sprayed a toxic substance that temporarily blinded the officers and escaped with the convicts.
Though the government has launched a nationwide police hunt, they have not been seen since.
According to witnesses at the court, although the two men were handcuffed, their legs were not shackled as is usually custom for high-security prisoners. A red alert at its borders to try to locate the escaped prisoners. Police announced an award of 2m taka
(£16,350) for tracing the convicts, as reported by the Guardian.
Bangladesh home minister, Asaduzzaman Khan
has said police were desperately trying to hunt down the men and that an investigation was being carried out into how the prisoners escaped.
The escape of the prisoners has once again given rise to fears of the revival of groups such as ABT, who along with other outfits claiming to be inspired by al-Qaida and Islamic State
was responsible for dozens of deadly attacks between 2013 and 2016. The groups mainly targeted writers, bloggers, intellectuals, and activists they viewed as being critical of fundamentalist Islam or even those sympathetic to religious minorities.