- 8 to 10 gunmen attacked an upscale restaurant in Bangladesh
- The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack
- Bangladesh security force killed 6 of the attackers
- Four police officers were reportedly killed
A restaurant frequented by foreigners in the diplomatic area of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, was attacked by several gunmen, believed to have links with the Islamic State or ISIS, who took up to 35 people hostage late Friday night, July 1.
The NY Post said Sumon Reza, a restaurant worker who was able to escape by jumping from the second floor of the building told reporters that 8 to 10 unshaven men, who were probably in their late 20’s, entered the restaurant. He said the men shouted “Allahu Akbar” [God is Great] before opening fire and detonating several explosives. Reza said the attackers were also armed with pistols and swords.
Benazir Ahmed, director general of the Rapid Action Battalion, the country’s counterterrorism force who responded to the scene tried to negotiate with the attackers to release the hostages.
The hostage-takers exchanged fire with police outside the restaurant, the Holey Artisan Bakery which is popular with expats. After 10 hours, the Bangladesh security force stormed the restaurant to free the hostages.
Six of the attackers were killed, while another one was arrested. At least 13 hostages were saved. Four police officers were reportedly killed during the operation.
“We were able to save 13 people and of these terrorists, six of them died on the spot, they died right there,” Bangladesh Prime Miniser Sheikh Hasina said at a news conference.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack according to Amaq, a news agency linked to the terror group.
“Islamic State commandos attack a restaurant frequented by foreigners in the city of Dhaka in Bangladesh,” Amaq reported.
U.S. State Department Spokesman John Kirby said no Americans were hurt in the attack.
“Our embassy in Dhaka has confirmed 100 percent accountability of all official American personnel with no injuries reported. We are working with the local authorities to determine if any U.S. citizens and locally–employed staff were affected,” Kirby said.