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The US embassy in Dhaka tweeted that there were "reports of shooting and hostage situation". "Unknown number of people are still inside but we cannot confirm whether they are held hostage," police officer Sayedur Rahman told AFP news agency. Local media reported that several gunmen had entered the Holey Artisan Bakery cafe and opened fire. The cafe is described as being popular with expatriates, diplomats and middle-class families. It is not clear who the attackers are, although a police officer told the BBC that Islamic militants were suspected.
It is not clear who the attackers are, although a police officer told the BBC that Islamic militants were suspected. Media reports quoted witnesses as saying that "Allahu Akbar", meaning "God is greatest", was heard as the attack took place.
Gunmen have stormed a popular cafe in the diplomatic area of the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, taking a number of hostages, officials say. Several foreigners are among those being held by eight or nine armed men in the Holey Artisan Bakery cafe in the city's Gulshan district, they add. Two police officers have been killed in a gun battle, a spokesman said, and about 30 others injured. So-called Islamic State (IS) has said it carried out the attack. A statement on the group's self-styled news agency Amaq said militants had attacked a restaurant "frequented by foreigners". It said that more than 20 people "of different nationalities" had been killed but this has not been confirmed.
Bangladeshi troops have cleared a cafe in the capital Dhaka where suspected Islamist gunmen took at least 20 hostages, including foreigners. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said 13 hostages were freed and six attackers shot dead. One of the gunmen was arrested, she said. Some of those who were held at the Holey Artisan Bakery cafe were believed to be Italian and Japanese. The militant group Islamic State (IS) has said it carried out the attack.
The 12-hour siege began as diners were gathering to break their fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. "It was an extremely heinous act," Sheikh Hasina said in a televised statement. "What kind of Muslims are these people? They don't have any religion. "My government is determined to root out terrorism and militancy from Bangladesh." Japan's Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda said one Japanese citizen was shot and wounded in the attack, and that seven others were in the cafe. Japan's government has not yet been able to contact them, he said. Bangladesh's Daily Star newspaper said the gunmen tortured anyone who was unable to recite the Koran. They provided meals overnight for only the Bangladeshi captives, the Daily Star said.
Twenty people, all of them foreigners, were killed during an attack by suspected Islamists on a cafe in Bangladesh, officials say. Gunmen stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery cafe in Dhaka late on Friday before troops entered almost 12 hours later. Six of the attackers were also killed and one was arrested, a government spokesman said. The attack was claimed by the so-called Islamic State (IS). Most victims were reportedly from Italy and Japan.