A local leader of fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami was killed on Monday in a gunfight with Bangladesh’s security forces carrying out raid at one of the party’s hideouts.

Tarique Mohammad Saiful Islam, 35, assistant secretary general of Jamaat’s Meherpur district unit, was killed as he tried to evade the police.

According to reports, police arrested Islam on Sunday, on charges of attacking police and leading the violent campaign ahead of January 5 elections. They carried out the raid at a village in the district in-line with Islam’s confession that fellow party men were holding a clandestine meeting there.

The report said, as soon as the police reached the scene the Jamaat activists opened fire, triggering the gunfight when Islam tried to flee the scene and came in line of fire.

“He (Islam) was shot as he came in line of fire as the gun battle began when the Jamaat activists launched the attack on the policemen,” Meherpur’s police chief AKM Nahidul Islam told newsmen.

The death of the Jamaat’s regional leader came two days after another activist of the party was killed during a gunfight with joint forces comprising paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and police at north-western Nilphamari.

A crucial allay of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Jamaat last year was barred from participating in the general elections by the Election Commission in line with a court order.