Dhaka – Twenty hostages died during a siege in the Bangladeshi capital where troops stormed a restaurant and killed six terrorists holding hostages, a military spokesman said.
The spokesman, Brigadier Nayeem Ashfaq Chowdhry of Bangladesh Army, didn’t mention the nationality of the victims.
All of them were chopped to death by sharp weapons inside the Holey Artisan Bakery restaurant at Gulshan diplomatic district of Dhaka on Friday Chowdhury told reporters six hours after the hostage crisis was ended.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said earlier that troops rescued 13 hostages and captured one of the terrorists.
Earlier reports said there were nearly two dozen hostages held by about eight to 10 attackers that took the cafe Friday night.
Chowdhury provided a phone number to contact the army to confirm identity of the deceased.
He said a search operation was launched as the militants were killed after 12-13 minutes commando operations. The forces found a number of firearms, including pistols and AK-22 rifles and sharp weapons, at the scene.
Two of the 13 rescued alive are Sri Lankan nationals while another Japanese, the army officer said adding that the more information would be available on the deceased after investigations.
The gunmen entered the restaurant at about 8:45 pm Friday as customers were eating. A tense standoff carried into early morning, after two police officers were killed in an initial exchange of gunfire in Dhaka’s diplomatic district of Gulshan.
Foreign hostages including several Italians and one or more Japanese citizens, diplomats said.
The Islamic State organization reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack. Other reports said American officials suspected al-Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent, which the US declared a terrorist group the day before.
Thousands of alleged radical militants had been arrested in Bangladesh in recent weeks, local media reported.