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Twenty people, mostly Italians and Japanese, were killed in an attack by militant militants on a coffee shop in the capital Dhaka, according to officials.
“Holly Artisan Bakery” cafe on Friday evening and held them hostage for about 12 hours Before the security forces storm the place and kill the militants.
A government spokesman said that security forces had killed 6 militants and arrested one.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.
A statement of the organization on its Amaq website said that the attack took place on a café that foreigners used to visit, and that the death toll reached 20 people of different nationalities.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi confirmed the killing of 9 Italians in the attack.
Renzi offered his condolences to the families of the victims. “Our values are stronger than their idiots,” he said, referring to the attackers.
The official Italian news agency ANSA reported that the victims were working in the clothing industry.
As for Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hageoda, he said that a Japanese citizen was injured in the attack, while 7 others were killed inside the cafe during the attack.
The State Department also announced that one of its citizens was killed in the attack.
The hostages were reported to have been tortured with “sharp weapons”.
The local “Daily Star” newspaper reported that the militants had tortured the hostages, who were unable to recite the Qur’an. She added that the militants only provided meals for the hostages from Bangladesh.
A military spokesman, Brigadier-General Naim Asraf Choudi, said that security forces freed 13 hostages and killed the militants.
* The Indian Foreign Minister confirmed the killing of a young Indian woman in the attack.
* Sri Lankan were among the survivors of the attack.
* Pope Francis condemned the attack and described it as an attack against “God and humanity.”
The Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, had condemned the attack and pledged to root out terrorism in her country.
In a televised speech, Sheikha Hasina described the attack as a “heinous act” and added, “What Islam do these attackers belong to?”
Sheikh Hasina confirmed that her government was “determined to root out terrorism and armed attacks in Bangladesh.”
Explosions and heavy gunfire were heard earlier when army and commando forces stormed the café with the support of police and border guards, according to officials.
Armored vehicles were seen at the accident site and adjacent areas.
Somun Raza, a cafe manager, said he escaped from the attack after he jumped off the roof of the cafe after the militants detonated explosives.
Two police officers were killed in the attack, and at least 5 others were injured.
The cafe is described as popular with foreigners, diplomats and middle-class families.
The attack was well planned, he says, adding that the Gulshan region where the attack took place is characterized by strict security measures as there are headquarters for foreign embassies and non-governmental institutions in addition to residential buildings inhabited by foreigners and rich Bangladeshis .
Etheragan added that it was difficult to pass into the area without standing at security checkpoints, but the recent attack showed that even the heavily guarded areas were not safe.
Bangladesh has witnessed a series of attacks, most of them using white weapons, targeting bloggers, atheists, writers, secularists and followers of religious minorities in the country of around 160 million people, most of whom are Muslims.
The Islamic State and al-Qaeda have supported previous armed attacks in Bangladesh.
The government, on its part, constantly denies the involvement of any foreign militant organizations in these attacks, despite its adoption and holds the two local groups, Ansar al-Islam and the Mujahideen, responsible.
Bangladesh has carried out death sentences against a number of leaders of Islamic groups, most notably Mutihur Rahman Nizami, leader of the Islamic Group, the country’s largest party, for accusing them of war crimes during the country’s secession from Pakistan.
The Islamists say they face a war from the government of Sheikh Hasina Wajid “because of their work to implement Islamic law.”
The position of the Islamists rejected the separation of Bangladesh from Pakistan, which took place at the time of the Indo-Pakistan war in 1971.