3 dead as Bangladesh government troops raid militants

Two civilians and a policeman were killed in explosions in Bangladesh on Saturday as troops raided a suspected military hideout in the country's east, police said.

Golam Kibria, a senior police official in Sylhet city, said 25 people were also wounded in the explosions, which took place on a road near an Islamic religious school.

Since Friday, paramilitary troops have been engaged in an operation to flush out a group of Islamist radicals holed up in a nearby building with a large cache of ammunition.

Police said that earlier Saturday, 78 civilians were rescued from the building as troops broke through a boundary wall.

Troops and militants continued to exchange gunfire late Saturday.

The gunbattle with suspected militants comes a day after a man detonated himself near a police post on a busy road near the airport in Dhaka, Bangladesh's capital. No one other than the attacker was killed or injured in that explosion.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the SITE Intelligence group, citing the Islamic State news agency Amaq. SITE monitors terror group activity online.

The blast was the second suicide attack in a week in the Dhaka area. On March 17, a suspected bomber died in a blast near barracks of the elite Rapid Action Battalion anti-terror police force.