1. ITV Report

Bangladesh cafe siege: What we know so far

Twenty hostages, believed to be foreign tourists, have been killed in an attack on a cafe in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka. So-called Islamic State have claimed responsibility.

Among the dead are nine Italians, seven Japanese, a US citizen and an Indian student.

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Here's what we know.

  • What happened?
Multiple people were taken hostage by the militants. Credit: Reuters

Militants, armed armed with assault rifles and grenades, entered the Holey Artisan Bakery in Gulshan, a restaurant popular with foreigners, at around 9pm local time (2pm BST) on Friday.

Multiple people were taken hostage with several foreign nationals among them.

Witnesses said the gunmen were shouting "Allahu Akbar" as they stormed the area.

Hostages in the cafe during the 10-hour siege who were unable to recite verses from the Qu'ran were tortured and killed, witnesses said.

Those who recited were spared. The gunmen even gave them meals last night.

Police exchanged fire with the militants for several hours before launching a rescue operation early on Saturday morning.

Television footage showed a number of police being led away from the site with blood on their faces and clothes.

Authorities are currently interrogating one of the attackers who was captured by commandos during the rescue.

  • How many people died?
An injured police officer is led away. Credit: Reuters

Twenty hostages, who are believed to be foreign nationals, were killed in the attack, according to army officials, who said most were killed with sharp weapons.

It is unclear whether this toll includes two police officers who died during a gun battle with the attackers.

Italy's Foreign Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, confirmed that among the 20 dead were nine Italian nationals: "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."

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said seven of its citizens had been confirmed dead in the attack, while one Indian, a 19 year-old female student, was killed in the assault, India's foreign minister said on Twitter.

A US citizen and an Indian student were also among those killed.

Most of the hostages are believed to have been killed with "sharp weapons".

Two Bangladeshi police officers were killed during the siege.

Six gunmen were also killed.

The Bangladesh prime minister said 13 hostages, including a Japanese national and two Sri Lankans, had been rescued.

  • Who is behind the attack?

So-called Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.

IS posted graphic images of what it said were dead foreigners killed in the assault and said they had targeted the citizens of "crusader countries".

  • Latest violent attack in Bangladesh
Security personnel are seen near the hostage situation. Credit: Reuters

The hostage crisis is the latest violent attack claimed by IS and al-Qaeda to hit the country.

Foreigners, local liberals and minority groups have all been targeted.

But the Bangladeshi authorities say homegrown militants, with no operational links found between them and international jihadist networks, are to blame for the attacks.

  • Reaction

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina condemned the Dhaka restaurant attack and vowed to fight terrorism.

"Because of the effort of the joint force, the terrorists could not flee," she said.

"Anyone who believes in religion cannot do such act. They do not have any religion, their only religion is terrorism."

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