Bangladesh Special Forces on Friday arrested five members of a banned Islamic group accused of supporting a coup attempt last month, a spokesman said.

Brigadier
Brigadier General Muhammad Masud Razzaq (R) talks during a media briefing in Dhaka January 19, 2012.

Bangladesh's army said on Thursday it had foiled a coup attempt to topple the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by retired and serving officers in a campaign to introduce sharia law in the majority Muslim country.

The army said one of the coup masterminds, Major Ziaul Haque remained a fugitive. The five arrested in the capital Dhaka are allegedly members of Islamic groupt Hizbut Tahrir, said Mohammad Sohel, director for legal and media of the Rapid Action Battalion.

Impoverished Bangladesh has a history of coups, with army generals running the South Asian nation for 15 years until the end of 1990.

Sheikh Hasina took power in early 2009 and has since faced threats from Islamist and other radical groups.

A revolt in the country's paramilitary border guards in February 2009 started at the guard headquarters in Dhaka and spread to a dozen other cities, killing more than 70 people, including 51 army officers.

The revolt was quelled after two days but the country has since been shadowed by fears of further uprisings.