The hostage crisis
has ended. Elite Bangladeshi Commandoes stormed into the Holey Artisan Restaurant in Dhaka early on Saturday morning and killed at least six of the heavily-armed terrorists who had held captive between 20 and 40 people.
One terrorist has been arrested.
Ending a standoff that lasted over 10 hours, the Commandoes reportedly rescued around 13 of the hostages including Japanese and Sri Lankan nationals. Local media reports say that in the 30 minutes of the final charge, over 1,000 rounds were fired and nearly 1000 explosions were heard.
Security officials are now conducting a combing operation in and around the restaurant.
“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, commander of the Rapid Action Battalion, told The Associated Press.
Authorities are tightlipped about the number of hostages killed and the Bangladeshi media too refrained from showing visuals from the attack.
Two security officials lost their lives in the attack. The security forces found bodies of five people inside the restaurant.
Bangladeshi soldiers and security personnel on top of armoured vehicles that were used to cordon off the area near the restaurant. AP Photo
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina condemned the attack.
“Because of the effort of the joint force, the terrorists could not flee,” Hasina said in a nationally televised speech. SITE says that the Islamic State has taken responsibility for the attack but US officials are not convinced. Though IS claims that 24 people have been killed and 40 wounded, the government has not confirmed the figures.