Police in Bangladesh say they have arrested nine suspected Islamist militants and seized bomb components in a series of raids. Authorities say the arrests began Friday in a district (Thakurgaon) more than 300 kilometers north of the capital, Dhaka.
One of the arrested men has been identified as the son-in-law of Shaikh Abdur Rahman, leader of the outlawed Islamist group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen. The militants have demanded the introduction of strict Islamic rule in Bangladesh, which has a Muslim majority but a democratic system of government. Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen has been blamed for a wave of bombings that erupted across Bangladesh three months ago. The group also has been linked to more recent attacks, including an explosion this week that killed two judges. Bangladesh is on high alert for more violence ahead of a major rally on Tuesday by the opposition Awami League.