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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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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."

Two police officers killed by Dhaka gunmen

Two police officers have been killed by gunmen who stormed a restaurant in Dhaka, Bangladesh, The Associated Press reports citing police in the capital.

Dhaka restaurant supervisor 'jumped from roof to escape'

The supervisor of an under-siege restaurant in Bangladeshi capital Dhaka escaped the gunmen by jumping from the roof, local media has reported.

Armed officers at the scene in Dhaka Credit: APTN

Sumon Reza told a local newspaper that as well as being armed with guns, the attackers had detonated explosives.

"I was in the roof. The whole building was shaking when they set off explosives," he said.

Officials have said "eight or nine" attackers had targeted the Holey Artisan Bakery restaurant in Dhaka's upmarket diplomatic quarter Gulshan.

Mr Reza said there were around 20 people being held hostage in the restaurant.

The so-called Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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Islamic State claims responsibility for Dhaka attack

The so-called Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for an attack on a restaurant in the Bangladeshi capital city Dhaka, according to the Amaq News Agency.

A number of hostages have been taken, including foreign visitors, by up to nine gunmen at the Holey Artisan Bakery in the Gulshan area of the city.

The agency said IS had claimed more than 20 people have been killed in the attack, though Bangladeshi police said they were still working to free the hostages peacefully.

Obama briefed on Bangladesh restaurant attack

US President Barack Obama has been briefed about the ongoing attack at a restaurant in Bangladesh, the White House has said.

Barack Obama has been briefed about the attack in Dhaka Credit: Reuters

Officials have said "eight or nine" gunmen stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery, which is popular with foreign visitors in the Gulshan area of capital city Dhaka, earlier tonight.

A number of foreigners are believed to be among those being held hostage.

"The president asked to be kept informed as the situation develops," a White House official said.

Operation to rescue Dhaka hostages imminent

An operation will be launched imminently to rescue hostages being held at gunpoint by "eight or nine" attackers, police in Bangladesh have said.

The country's police chief said several foreigners were among those being held hostage after gunmen stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery, which is popular with foreign visitors in the Gulshan area of capital city Dhaka, earlier tonight.

Gunmen storm restaurant in Dhaka, taking hostages

Gunmen have stormed a restaurant in Bangladesh's capital city Dhaka, with reports of hostages taken.

Police at the scene in Dhaka Credit: APTN

Two police officers have been injured as a gunfight broke out at the Holey Artisan Bakery, which is popular with foreign visitors in the diplomatic quarter of the city, Gulshan 2, near the Nordic Club and the Qatar Embassy.

One witness said he could hear gunfire from his home nearby, and said it "looked quite bad".

The attack happened in the Gulshan 2 area of Dhaka, Bangladesh Credit: Google Maps

Bangladesh has suffered a series of attacks in recent months, mostly involving machetes, targeting bloggers, atheists and religious minorities.

A Hindu temple worker was stabbed to death in western Bangladesh earlier today.

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