• Bangladeshi Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina asked the Islamic extremists to stop killing in the name of religion
  • Hasina said Islam is a religion of peace
  • Armed men attacked a posh restaurant in Dhaka and killed 20 people, mostly foreigners

Following the bloody attack of several gunmen, believed to have links with the Islamic State, on a posh restaurant in Dhaka on July 1, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina implored Islamic extremists to stop killing in the name of religion.

“Islam is a religion of peace. Stop killing in the name of the religion,” Hasina said in an emotional televised address to the nation in which she declared two days of mourning; adding “I want to ask those who are aiding terror, what do you get by taking innocent lives. What kind of Muslims are these who kill others during Ramazan.”

As mentioned in a Daily Times article dated July 2, 2016, Hasina said her administration is determined to eradicate terrorism in Bangladesh.

“People must resist these terrorists. My government is determined to root out terrorism and militancy,” she said.

Several men armed with pistols, swords and explosives attacked the Holey Artisan Bakery and took hostage at least 35 people.

The siege was brought to an end almost 11 hours later when government security forces stormed the restaurant to save the hostages. Six of the gunmen were killed, while another one was captured alive and arrested. Twenty of the hostages, most of them foreigners, were slaughtered by the attackers. Two police officers also died during the siege.

Survivors told reporters how the armed men separated the locals and foreign hostages before embarking on a killing spree. Most of the victims were brutally hacked to death with sharp weapons.

A spokesman for the Bangladeshi Army said the dead hostages include nine Italians, seven Japanese, one Indian, two Bangladeshis and a U.S. citizen of Bangladeshi origin.

The Islamic State, through its news agency Amaq, claimed responsibility for the attack.