A commando of Islamists probably affiliated to the Islamic State attacked with firearms and sidearms a restaurant attended by foreigners in the diplomatic area of the capital of Bangladesh. This morning at 7.40, am after a night of stall, special army forces intervened with a flash blitz killing six attackers and freeing 13 hostages. A seventh terrorist was arrested. Two police officers were killed during the operation.
On the floor of the restaurant were found the bodies of 20 hostages, almost all them of Italian and Japanese nationality, as reported by local sources.
Many of the victims would present fatal wounds caused by sharp weapons. An employee of the restaurant kitchens, escaped the massacre, said that the bombers have penetrated the local armed with guns, grenades and swords, at 8:45 pm on Friday, shouting “God is great”, while 20 clients of foreign nationality (including which several diplomats and Italian entrepreneurs of the textile industry) were having dinner, along with the local clientele.
To outcry followed the gunfire and explosions. Many staff members, including the Italian chef of Holey Artisan Bakery, and several dozen customers have been able to get to safety before the bombers blocked the doors and barricade inside the restaurant. According to some sources, yet to be verified, the bombers would then dedicated to the massacre, brutally killing the hostages unable to recite passages from the Koran.
Some of the employees were holed up in the bathroom, managing to save himself and starting to communicate with the outside world through mobile and social media. A crowd of about two hundred people, made up of curious, friends and relatives of the hostages, had gathered near the restaurant while the police began to outline the area and to secure the perimeter.
The blitz tof his morning ended a 10-hour siege. The identity of the victims has yet to be verified.
Today’s deaths are added to the 40 killed in the Asian country from 2013 onwards for Islamist militants hand. The victims, including foreign, atheist blogger, the gay community activists and members of religious minorities, were often slaughtered with machetes, in an unprecedented blaze of violence organized and coordinated by terrorist groups with international links. Police responded, in recent months, with a crackdown against militant Islamism that led to the arrest of more than 10,000 people across the country.
So far, though, the Bangladeshi authorities had rejected the idea that local groups could be part of a transnational Islamist networks. Today’s attack will likely force them to reconsider that position.