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Bangladesh identifies suspect in failed hijacking of Dubai-bound plane, gunned-down by commandos Open in fullscreen

The New Arab & agencies

Bangladesh identifies suspect in failed hijacking of Dubai-bound plane, gunned-down by commandos

The flight was due to fly to Dubai via Chittagong [AFP]

Date of publication: 25 February, 2019

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Police have said that a killed while attempting to hijack a Dubai-bound plane was not armed, reversing a previous claim that he had shot at police.

Bangladeshi officials on Monday the suspect who was killed while trying to hijack a commercial flight to Dubai as a 24-year-old man from a village close to the country's capital.

Officials said the man may not have been armed, in a reversal of previous allegations that he was carrying a pistol.

"There was no signal that he had something" when he went through airport security before Sunday's flight, Bangladesh civil Aviation Minister Mahbub Ali said at a news conference in Dhaka.

A police chief in Narayanganj outside Dhaka, Mohammed Moniruzzaman, identified the suspect as Mahmud Polash Ahmed.

Moniruzzaman said Ahmed's parents confirmed his identity, and that residents of the village where he lived said he had a "bad reputation".

The minister's statement contradicts what Maj. Gen. Motiur Rahman told reporters on Sunday. According to ATN TV news, Rahman said commandos fired at the suspect after he shot at them when they asked him to surrender, and that he was armed with a pistol.

"We don't know if there was any exchange of gunfire," Mohibul Haque, secretary of the civil aviation ministry, told reporters.

The plane operated by Biman Bangladesh Airlines made an emergency landing in Chittagong after the attempted hijacking, which occurred shortly after take-off from Dhaka. The plane was headed to Dubai via Chittagong.

The suspect asked to speak to the prime minister before dying from gunshots fired by the commandos, according to officials.

Bangladesh aviation chief Nayeem Hasan said that the man acted alone and was not part of a militant group.

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