Dhaka – A junior minister of Italy arrived in Dhaka Tuesday to take back the bodies of nine Italians killed during the siege of a restaurant in the Bangladeshi capital where suspected Islamist terrorists killed 20 hostages Friday night, officials said.
Lapo Pistelli arrived at Dhaka by a special flight, an official at the foreign ministry said.
Pistelli, along with his Bangladeshi counterpart Shahriar Alam, visited the Holey Artisan Bakery where the terrorist holed up Friday overnight in Dhaka’s Gulshan diplomatic enclave.
Troops stormed the restaurant Saturday morning killing six suspected militants. Two police officers were killed during encounter with the terrorists on Friday night.
Global terror outfit Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack through its Amaq news agency, according to the US-based SITE Intelligence Group.
But Bangladesh denied the presence of the IS saying all the attackers were home-grown.
Bangladesh observed two days of mourning to pay tribute to the victims of the deadliest-ever terrorist attack in Bangladesh before the bodies of the victims was to fly back to their homes.
Seven Japanese, two Bangladeshis, on Bangladeshi-origin American and an India citizen were among the victims.
The Italian authorities disclosed names of their nine nationals. They are Cristian Rossi; Marco Tondat; Nadia Benedetti; Adele Puglisi; Simona Monti; Claudia Maria D’Antona; Vincenzo D’Allestro; Maria Rivoli and Claudio Cappelli.
The body of the India girl, Tarishi Jain, was flown back to New Delhi Monday and her friends and family cremated later Monday evening.
The bodies of the seven Japanese killed in a militant attack in Bangladesh returned to home Tuesday.
A Japanese government plane took the bodies back to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, where the bodies, in boxes covered with white cloth, were lowered slowly in pairs from the high cargo bay of the 747 and lined up on the tarmac.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Bangladesh Ambassador Rabab Fatima and other officials laid bouquets of flowers in between the boxes.
The Japanese victims are Ogasawara, Tanaka Hiroshi, Shakai Yuku, Kurusaki Nubuhiri, Okamura Makato, Shimudhuira Rui and Hashimato Hideiko.
Authorities in Dhaka were still holding five of the 13 hostages rescued when commandos stormed the restaurant in Dhaka’s diplomatic zone Saturday morning.