Saturday, 2 July 2016
Bangladesh police rescue hostages in Dhaka restaurant
Bangladeshi security forces have stormed a cafe in the capital, Dhaka, where 20 hostages, including several foreigners, were being held captive for more than 10 hours after gunmen launched an attack, officials said.
At least six of the attackers were killed and 13 hostages rescued following the Saturday morning operation at the Holey Artisan cafe, the commanding officer of Bangladeshi commandos said.
"We have gunned down at least six terrorists and the main building is cleared but the operation is still going on," Lt. Col. Tuhin Mohammad Masud told The Associated Press news agency, adding that some attackers had been captured.
Police said eight or nine men attacked the cafe in Dhaka's diplomatic enclave, popular with expatriates, around 9pm local time on Friday.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group claimed responsibility for the attack.ISIL said 24 people had died. Bangladeshi police denied that, saying two police officers had been killed and at least 20 people were wounded.
Violence has spiked in Bangladesh in the last 18 months. Attacks have tended to be on individuals, often using machetes, and the raid on the restaurant was a rare instance of a more coordinated operation.
Earlier on Friday, a Hindu priest was hacked to death at a temple in Jhinaidah district, 300km southwest of Dhaka.The hostage crisis marks an escalation from a recent spate of murders claimed by ISIL and al-Qaeda on liberals, gays, foreigners and religious minorities, and could deal a major blow to the country's vital $25bn garment sector.