Islamic State Terrorists Attack Dhaka Restaurant; Foreigners Among Hostages

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9:25 am 2 Jul, 2016


A hostage crisis is on in a top restaurant in uptown Dhaka.

On Saturday morning, security forces stormed the Holey Artisan Restaurant to rescue around 20 people kept as hostage since last night.

 

Heavy explosions were heard at around 7:40 am this morning indicating that a fierce gunbattle was on between security forces and terrorists, who number around 8-9.

 


Some reports say that the number of hostages is 40, which includes many foreigners.

 

Bangladesh's Rapid Action Battalion prepare to storm the restaurant. Barcroft

Bangladesh’s Rapid Action Battalion prepare to storm the restaurant. Barcroft

The Holey Artisan Restaurant is located in the Gulshan District of Dhaka.

Being a posh restaurant of the city and located in the diplomatic district, the Holey Artisan is frequented by expatriates, diplomats and middle-class families.

 

Artisan

 

Two policemen, Mohammed Salahuddin and Robiul Islam, have been reportedly killed. Over 20 people have been injured.

 

Mohammed Salahuddin and Robiul Islam, two Bangladeshi security officials, died fighting the terrorists.

Mohammed Salahuddin and Robiul Islam, two Bangladeshi security officials, died fighting the terrorists.

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack. They claim to have killed 20 but Bangladeshi authorities have not confirmed the same.

 

According to Daily Mail, the barbaric terror group uploaded pictures of dead bodies from the restaurant on their website. Yet US officials doubt the Islamic State claim and told CNN that al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent could be actually behind this attack.

 

Barcroft

Barcroft

The Daily Mail report says that ‘Amaq’, ISIS’s official media outlet, claims that the bodies are of the diners taken hostage. Rita Katz, director of SITE Intelligence Group, told Daily Mail that the images are authentic.

 

Reuters

Reuters


US Embassy in Dhaka has advising people to take shelter. The embassy later stated that all American citizens working under the chief of the mission authority had been accounted for.

 

The Indian Government requested the media not to identify the names or nationalities of hostages for their security.

 

The MEA said that all officials at the Indian High Commission in Dhaka are safe.

Witnesses said that the terrorists are carrying assault rifles, grenades, pistols and swords. They attacked the restaurant at around 9 PM on Friday night.

 

A restaurant staff member told The Guardian that there were about 50 to 60 staff inside at the time of the attack.

“I heard them screaming Allahu Akbar [God is great] and firing shots,” he told The Guardian. The staff member said that he and some other employees “jumped over barbed wire fences to escape”.  According to his estimate, there were about 25 to 30 customers inside at the time.

 

The Holey Artisan Restaurant in Dhaka.

The Holey Artisan Restaurant in Dhaka.

Gowher Rizvi, an adviser to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, had earlier said that the security forces could launch an offensive to end the siege in case they fail to negotiate a way out of the crisis.

 

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