Dhaka – Police have charged eight suspected militants for carrying out the deadly attack on a restaurant in Bangladeshi capital that killed 20 civilians more than two years ago.
Chief of counter terrorism and transnational crime unit of Bangladesh police Monirul Islam said six of them are currently in prison while two others absconding.
Arrest warrants have been sought for those absconding, he said adding that the investigators found involvement of at least 21 people in the attack.
Thirteen of them were killed in anti-terrorism raids launched across the country after the attack.
The Islamist militants killed nine Italians, seven Japanese, one Indian, one US citizen and two Bangladeshi nationals during a 19-hour siege of the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka’s Gulshan area on July 1, 2016.
Two police officers were killed when they initially tried to offset the attack. Army commandos stormed the café in the following morning killing five militants and one of their associates to free hostages.
Police could not found involvement of Prof Hasnat Karim, a former teacher of North South University, in the attack. He was arrested after the café attack. He was not charged for the attack, said Monirul Islam.
The Islamic State militant group claimed credit for the assault in Dhaka but investigators said the home-grown Islamist outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB had carried it out.
Bangladesh launched a clampdown against the militants in response to the restaurant attack and killed more than 100 suspected members of the banned Islamist group.
Those who are in custody are: Jahangir Alam alias Rajib Gandhi, Rafiqul Islam Rigan, Soheil Mahfuz, Rashedul Islam alias Rash and Hadisur Rahman Sagor.
Shahidul Islam Khaled and Mamunur Rashid Ripon are absconding.