Terror strikes Dhaka; gunfighting at besieged restaurant ends

  • Militants storm popular Gulshan hangout for foreigners; about 20 foreign nationals, children among dozens held hostage; 2 police officers killed; around 40 injured; 'IS claims responsibility'
- The Daily Star, (Agencies), BANGLADESH

Jul 2, 2016-

Gunfighting at a besieged restaurant in the Bangladeshi capital ended on Saturday and between eight and ten hostages were rescued by commandos who were still inside the building, a police official said.

Security forces have launched an offensive to end an unprecedented hostage crisis at a restaurant in the diplomatic zone of Bangladesh capital, Dhaka, this morning.

Gunshots and heavy sound of explosion started to rock the area at 7:40am (local time).

“Law enforcers have rescued 13 people,” Tuhin Md Masud, commanding officer of Rapid Action Battalion-1, told journalists.    

In an unprecedented turn of events last night, gunmen held hostage dozens of people inside a popular hangout for foreigners in the capital's diplomatic zone of Gulshan, and fired shots and hurled bombs at law enforcers, killing at least two cops and injuring around 40.

According to some accounts, 20 foreigners and a few children were among the hostages.

- Troops storm café 11 hours into the hostage crisis began

- 2 police officers dead so far

- 20 believed to be held hostage

- Foreigners among hostage

Prior to beginning of the operation, armoured vehicles were brought in and special troops from different law enforcement agencies were seen taking position around Holey Artisan Bakery.

Commandos from Bangladesh Army and Navy joined police, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams, elite force Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and paramilitary Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) in the early hours as the hostage crisis drags on for hours.

Reuters adds: Bangladesh security forces were preparing to try to free around 20 hostages, including several foreigners, from a restaurant in an upmarket area of the capital Dhaka early today, after gunmen stormed the building killing at least two policemen.

Gowher Rizvi, an adviser to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, told Reuters that security forces were trying to negotiate a way out of the crisis, failing which they would launch an offensive to end the siege.

Published: 02-07-2016 09:11

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