Seven suspected members of the banned Islamist group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh or JMB, were arrested by security forces in a raid at a residential building in the capital Dhaka. Bombs and other explosive devices were recovered from the suspects in the raid.

Following a tip-off, security forces gathered more information about the suspects and their intentions from a detained JMB member and conducted the raid. "We detained seven members of the JMB and from our primary interrogation we could confirm that three of them are members who hold important positions in the group," senior city police officer Monirul Islam said.

Security personnel reached the area, evacuated residents and were planning to launch an offensive, when they were met with bombs from the JMB members, Islam said. The raid was conducted on 24 December. After the operation, the building was sealed and a thorough inspection was carried out by a bomb disposal squad.

"At least 20 grenades have been found in a sack in their possession and those locally made grenades have similarity with grenades recovered earlier," the police officer said. "According to primary interrogation, the home was being used as a den of making bombs and grenades. They rented the place three to four months ago," he added.

JMB has been blamed for carrying attacks on foreigners and minority groups in the country. It was founded in 1998 and was banned in 2005 after it carried out simultaneous attacks in nearly 300 locations across the country. JMB wanted to implement Shariah law in the country.

Although Islamic State (Isis) has claimed responsibility for the recent killings of two foreigners and attacks carried out on the Shia community, Sheikh Hasina's government, has maintained that IS (Daesh) has no foothold in Bangladesh.

The government has also blamed the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist party and its ally, the Jamaat-e-Islami for trying to destabilising the country.