DHAKA: Bangladesh police have arrested seven men with suspected links to a banned Islamic group in three separate raids across the northwest of the country, an officer said Saturday.

The seven were believed to be senior members of the banned Islamic extremist group Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), deputy police chief Sardar Nurul Amin told AFP

"Police in three districts carried out a combined drive this week to arrest these senior leaders of JMB," said Amin of the Rajshahi police division,

"We have also recovered a number of militant propaganda books and CDs from them."

JMB was blamed for a series of blasts in Bangladesh four years ago that killed at least 28 people.

The group has been virtually silent since those attacks with its senior leaders having been either arrested or executed under the previous military-backed government, which ruled until the start of this year.