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Nine Italians killed in Bangladesh siege, minister says

Army soldiers patrol near the Holey Artisan restaurant in Dhaka after the attack. Credit: Reuters

Nine Italians were among 20 foreign nationals killed in Friday's attack by suspected Islamist militants at a cafe in Bangladesh, Italy's foreign minister has said.

Security forces stormed the restaurant in Dhaka and ended a 12-hour standoff on Saturday, killing six gunmen.

"We have identified nine (Italians) killed, there is another person who is missing and could be hiding himself or could be among wounded people ... we are looking for him," Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni told reporters.

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Italian nationals among Dhaka restaurant hostages

Bangladeshi security forces keep watch after gunmen stormed a Dhaka restaurant Credit: Reuters

Seven Italian nationals are thought to be among the hostages held by gunmen in a popular restaurant in the diplomatic quarter of Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital, according to Italian media.

State TV RAI quoted Mario Palma, the Italian ambassador in Dhaka, as saying the seven Italians were businessmen.

One Italian hostage had escaped, an Italian foreign ministry source said.

Italian media said the escaped man told police there were seven Italians still inside the restaurant.

FCO 'urgently seeking information' on Dhaka attack

The UK's Foreign Office has said it is "urgently" trying to find out more about a siege at a restaurant in Bangladesh's capital city Dhaka.

It comes after up to nine gunmen armed with assault rifles and grenades stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery in the city's diplomatic quarter, killing two officers in a shoot-out with police at around 9pm local time (2pm BST).

Police said around 15 others were injured and a number of people are believed to have been taken hostage.

In a statement, a spokesman said: "We are urgently seeking more information from Bangladeshi authorities following a shooting in Dhaka and are monitoring the situation closely."

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