Dhaka: Police in Bangladesh killed nine militants on Tuesday who were believed to have been plotting an attack similar to the one on a cafe on July 1 that killed 22 people, the national police chief said.
Police said the militants, holed up in a building in Kalyanpur on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka, opened fire on officers as they tried to enter.
The militants, who shouted slogans as they battled police, were believed to be members of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), a banned group that has pledged allegiance to IS militant group.
"They were wearing black outfits, turbans and had backpacks ... similar to the outfits the attackers in the cafe had," police chief Shahidul Hoque told reporters at the scene after the militants were killed.
"They were plotting a major attack in the capital like that in the restaurant."
One wounded militant was captured and another managed to escape, he added.
Prompt action spared Bangladesh from an attack, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said.
"They were preparing to carry out a terror attack," she added. "Our forces conducted the operation successfully upon getting intelligence reports."
IS claimed responsibility for the cafe assault, one of the worst militant attacks Bangladesh has ever experienced, but the government has dismissed suggestions the group has a presence there.
Police said JMB was behind the attack by five young Bangladeshis on the upmarket cafe. Most of the 22 killed were foreigners and the five attackers were also killed.
"The militant who was detained claimed they were IS members, but we think they're JMB," Hoque said.
Dhaka city police chief Asaduzzaman Mia said police were questioning the owner of the building, from which they had seized 13 grenades and a huge quantity of explosive gel, among other weapons, ranging from pistols to commando knives.
Over the past year, Al Qaeda and IS have made competing claims over a series of killings of liberals and members of religious minorities in the nation of 160 million people.
While authorities have blamed the violence on domestic militants, security experts say the scale and sophistication of the assault on the cafe suggested links to a trans-national network.
IS has warned that violence would continue until law was established worldwide, saying in a video the Dhaka cafe attack was just a glimpse of what was to come.