Six militants of the terror group, Islamic State (ISIS), have been killed on Saturday morning after massacring at least 22 persons – all foreigners – in a shooting attack on a restaurant in Bangladesh.
Police said at least 13 hostages had been freed from the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka, where one suspected gunman was captured in a military operation.
The gunmen had attacked the restaurant in the diplomatic area of Dhaka late on Friday and had been holding about 20 hostages, including foreigners before police stormed the building to free those stuck inside.
The number of gunmen and hostages still in the restaurant was unclear, Mizanur Rahman Bhuiyan, a deputy director at the Rapid Action Battalion force, told Reuters.
An Isis-affiliated propaganda agency released photos from inside the restaurant during the raid, appearing to showing the bodies of women and men on the floor in pools of blood.
A forth message from the ISIS reportedly claimed that 24 people have been killed and 40 wounded so far “including foreigners,” according to SITE Intelligence.
Meanwhile, security forces in Dhaka clarified that only two police officers had been killed and at least 15 other people were injured while they attempt to free the hostages.
The group released a statement saying “Islamic State commandos” attacked the restaurant, describing it as “frequented by foreigners”.
Witnesses described up to nine militants shouting “Allahu Akbar”, meaning “God is great” as they burst into the Holey Artisan Bakery at 9.20pm local time on Friday (4.20pm BST).
The siege started as diners were gathering to break their fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
“It was an extremely heinous act,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in a televised statement. “What kind of Muslims are these people? They don’t have any religion.
“My government is determined to root out terrorism and militancy from Bangladesh.”