Dhaka – Suspected Islamist militants launched a brazen assault on a café in Bangladesh capital Dhaka on Friday, killing 20 people, all of them foreigners, and leaving 30 others injured.
Six of the assailants were also killed in the military operation, and one was arrested. Thirteen people including three foreigners taken hostage by the captor were also rescued at the end of the 12-hour siege.
Most of the victims were Italian and Japanese nationals, Bangladesh Army sources said. An Indian college student was also reportedly killed in the attack.
The siege began when heavily-armed gunmen stormed Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka’s Gulshan area, a diplomatic area on Friday night and shot dead two police personnel in the initial attack.
Islamic State (IS) terrorist group has claimed the responsibility for the attack.
The assailants were equipped with hand grenades and automatic weapons, military sources said.
More than 100 commandos of Bangladesh Army, Navy and police participated in the operation to clear the café.
Two of the three foreigners rescued by security forces were Sri Lankan while one was a Japanese citizen.
At least 30 people including policemen were also injured in the attack. Several of them are said to be in extremely critical condition, and the death toll may climb.