IS gunmen seize hostages at Dhaka cafe, 2 officers down
Islamic State gunmen fired gunshots and detonated explosives during taking over a number of people hostage Friday night at a restaurant in Dhaka, setting off a bloody standoff with the police in the Capital’s diplomatic zone.
At least two police officers have gunned down, 30 wounded mainly from shrapnel and over 20 others being held hostage in the Holey Artisan Bakery, which is said to be popular with expatriates, diplomats and middle-class families. It is in the Capitals affluent Gulshan neighborhood.
Assistant Commissioner of city detective police Rabiul Islam and Officer-in-Charge of Dhaka’s Banani Police station Salah Uddin has been killed in the gun battle near the cafe Holey Artisan Bakery popular with expatriates, diplomats and urban middle-class families. A official from Police Headquarters confirmed that, one of the top officials of city detective branch Mr. Rabiul got killed in the gunfight. Niece of Mr. Salah Uddin confirmed to journalists that, Mr. Salah Uddin was declared dead in a city hospital.
US-based SITE Intelligence Group, around 1:30am – around five hours after the crisis began, tweeted the development quoting the middle-east terrorist outfit’s Amaq news agency.
Earlier around 8.45, just 15 minutes before the closing time, a group of armed men have sized the cafe, and took at least 20 people as hostage, foreigners included.
Huge number of policemen and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) members had cordoned off the area and gunshots were still being heard when this report was filed around 2:48 am.
Benazir Ahmed, chief of the Rapid Action Battalion, said the police is trying to resolve the crisis peacefully. “We believe we can resolve this peacefully,” he told reporters on the spot.
According to an eyewitness, about eight men including three heavily-armed gunmen entered the cafe on Road 79 of affluent suburb of Gulshan around 8:45pm exploding bombs and started shooting indiscriminately.