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Separatists loot Tk1.5 crore from Sonali Bank in Bandarban

Separatists loot Tk1.5 crore from Sonali Bank in Bandarban

Bandarban Correspondent

Armed hill tract terrorists raided a Sonali Bank branch at Bandarban's Ruma upazila on Tuesday night, looting at least Tk1.5 crore.

After the 30-minute robbery they took the bank manager with them potentially as a hostage. They also seized firearms from at least 14 security personnel employed at the compound during the attack.

Locals and union parishad administration officials said the robbers are from the indigenous separatist group: Kuki-Chin National Front.

The group follows an extreme approach to securing the rights of indigenous people in the Chittagong hill tracts, and is determined to achieve independence for parts of Rangamati and Bandarban districts through armed resistance.

Though founded in 2017, it has become a credible threat to prace in the hill tracts over the years.

The militant group probably had inside knowledge about Sonali Bank's activities as the bank had received a fresh supply of cash for Eid transactions hours before the robbery on Tuesday.

Sonali Bank Managing Director Afzal Karim confirmed that the KNF attack happened at 9pm Tuesday. The whereabouts of the bank manager remained missing, he said.

The militants picked 8.30pm as the start of their raid, when most locals would be busy at mosque to offer nighttime Ramadan prayers, leaving the area largely deserted.

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