Dhaka: Indian doctor Satyapal nearly escaped death today after being released, apparently because he spoke fluent Bengali and was considered to be a Bangladesh national by the gunmen, who held people hostage in an upscale cafe Holey Artisan in Dhaka’s diplomatic zone last evening.
Twenty people including foreigners were shortly killed with sharp weapons by the gunmen after taking the diners hostage. The deceased include eight Italians, some Japanese and South Koreans and one Indian and some Bangladeshi nationals.
External affairs Minister of India Sushma Swaraj confirmed that 19-year-old Indian, Tarnish was killed during the attack.
“Tarishi was 19 years old. She passed out from American School Dhaka. Presently, she was a student at Berkeley,” Swaraj tweeted.
Meanwhile, according to Daily Star a top military officer has insisted that not all of the 20 killed by the militants were foreigners. However, reports suggest that at least four Bangladeshis were among the victims.
According to Japan times, seven Japanese citizens remained unaccounted after the 12-hour hostage crisis in Dhaka ended Saturday.
After the cafe hostage siege finally on earlier today after a bloody fight between commandos and militants, Brigadier General Nayeem Ashfaq Chowdhury, Director of Military Operations said that as per instruction by the government, the Bangladesh Army conducted ‘Operation Thunderbolt’ to end the hostage crisis and police took part in the over an hour operation starting at 7:40 a.m.
Thirteen hostages were rescued in the operation which included two Sri Lankans and a Japanese. He added that six terrorists were killed and joint forces detained a suspected attacker from the spot.
A pistol used by terrorists, folded butt AK 22 rifle, Improvised Explosive Device (IED), walkie-talkie set and a large number of locally made sharp weapons were recovered from the spot, General Nayeem said.
Though it was reported that the Islamic State claimed responsibility on the attack, the U.S. State Department has said it cannot yet be confirmed.
The Islamic State has claimed a number of past attacks in Bangladesh through its media affiliates, but the government has consistently denied presence of the militant in the country. (ANI)