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IS says it targeted foreigners in Bangladesh attack

The Islamic State have claimed responsibility for the attack on a cafe in the capital Dhaka, the Associated Press reports.

The group said it targeted foreigners in the attack, reports say.

Bangladesh will stand up and fight, says Prime Minister

Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Credit: Reuters

Bangladesh will stand up and fight the "terror threat" that has mushroomed in its backyard, the country's prime minister has said.

In a live television broadcast, Sheikh Hasina said the country stood "committed and determined" to uphold its freedom, and announced two days of national mourning in the wake of a deadly Islamist militant attack on an upmarket restaurant in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka.

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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.

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