20 KILLED IN BANGLADESH DHAKA’S HOSTAGE CRISIS
Bangladeshi troops said, on Saturday 07/02/2016, they have cleared a cafe in the capital Dhaka, where 9 gunmen on Friday, at about 21:00 local time, the last friday of Ramadan, took at least 20 hostages, including foreigners. Tuhin Mohammad Masud, a commander of the elite Rapid Action Battalion – RAB, said: “We have gunned down at least six terrorists and the main building is cleared but the operation is still going on.” One of the Jihadi militants was arrested.
They say 13 hostages, including four foreigners, were rescued and six attackers shot dead. However, 20 hostages, all of them foreigners, were killed during the attack, most of them Italians and Japeneses . Army Brig Gen Naim Asraf Chowdhury said the victims had been “brutally” attacked with sharp weapons. Bangladesh’s Daily Star newspaper said the gunmen tortured anyone who was unable to recite the Koran. They provided meals overnight for only the Bangladeshi captives, it said.
Several of those held at the Holey Artisan Bakery cafe were believed to be Italian, and some may be Japanese.
At least two police officers were killed in earlier exchanges of fire late on Friday 07/01/2016, and 30 police officers were injured.
The militant group Islamic State (ISIS) has said it carried out the attack.
The attack comes after a spate of murders of secular bloggers, gay activists, academics and members of religious minorities, blamed on Islamist militants. All the jihadi perpetrators were known local Islamic militants, more affiliated to Al Qaeda than to the Islamic State, they came from middle class families, graduated local colleges and spoke perfect English.
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