After a ten-hour long standoff, six Islamic terrorists are dead and a seventh captured after they killed 20 people and held more than a dozen hostage in an attack on a Bangladesh restaurant.
The militants attacked an upscale restaurant in the capital city of Dhaka late Friday, Fox News reported. More than 100 police commandos stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery early Saturday in a raid that resulted in thirteen hostages being freed.
In the initial gunfight with the attackers, who also reportedly hurled bombs, two police officers were injured and later died at a hospital. Army Brigadier General Naim Asraf Chowdhury said at a news conference that most of the victims had been killed with sharp weapons.
The SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist activity online, said the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, according to Fox. The U.S. State Department could not confirm this, however, and Bangladesh officials did not immediately respond to the claim, according to Fox.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called on people to come forward with any information, condemning the attack in a speech broadcast on television.
“Anyone who believes in religion cannot do such [an] act,” Hasina said. “They do not have any religion, their only religion is terrorism.”
The militants chanted “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) as they attacked around 9:20 p.m. Friday (11:20 a.m. ET), initially opening fire with blanks, according to Sumon Reza, an employee of the restaurant who escaped from the roof.
Rezaul Karim’s son called him from the restaurant where he was with his family when the attack took place. “He told me, `Please save us, please!’ And he hung up,” he said. The attackers “did not hit people who could recite verses from the Koran. The others were tortured,” his son told him, according to Fox.
“The gunmen asked everyone inside to recite from the Koran. Those who recited were spared. The gunmen even gave them meals last night,” Karim said.
According to an army official, all of the victims were foreigners. U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said all official American personnel were accounted for but the department was working with local authorities to determine if any other U.S. citizens were involved.
President Obama was briefed on the attack, according to a White House official who was not authorized to speak publicly, Fox reported.
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