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Saturday, July 2, 2016

6 Militants Killed, 13 Hostages Rescued after Commando Raid on Bangladesh Restaurant


Commandos backed by armored vehicles stormed a upscale restaurant in the Bangladesh capital's diplomatic zone early Saturday, killing at least six Islamist militants who had taken dozens of hostages the previous evening.

Approximately three hours after the raid began, police Lt. Col. Tuhin Mohammad Masud confirmed to the Associated Press that the restaurant's main building had been cleared and at least 13 hostages had been rescued. 

Masud added that some of the militants had been captured and noted "the operation is still going on." He also said there were casualties among the hostages, but declined to elaborate.

Earlier, a police official told AP that that five bodies were seen lying in pools of blood at the restaurant. It was not immediately clear whether they were the remains of militants or hostages.

The Islamic State (ISIS) group claimed responsibility for the attack in Dhaka's Gulshan area, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist activity online. The ISIS-affiliated Amaq news agency claimed that 24 people had been killed and 40 wounded, according to SITE, though those figures could not be independently confirmed.


Amaq also posted photos purportedly showing the bodies of hostages. The authenticity of the pictures could not be confirmed either.

It was unclear how many hostages remained in the restaurant when the operation began at 7:40 a.m. local time (9:40 p.m. ET Friday). Local media reported that an Argentine and two Bangladeshis were rescued early Saturday, but details about their condition were not immediately available.

Masud said those rescued in the raid included a Japanese national, who was injured, and two Sri Lankans. The gunmen entered the restaurant at about 9:20 p.m. local time Friday, holding customers and staff at gunpoint. Kitchen staffer Sumon Reza, one of at least 10 people who managed to escape via the building's roof, said at least 35 people, including 20 foreigners, were trapped inside.

Reza said the attackers chanted "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great) as they launched the attack around 9:20 p.m. local time Friday, initially opening fire with blanks. A huge contingent of security forces cordoned off the area around the bakery.


Police said two officers died at a hospital after being wounded in a gun battle with the attackers, who also hurled bombs. Another 26 people were wounded, 10 of whom were listed in critical condition and six of whom were on life support, according to hospital staff. The injuries ranged from broken bones to gunshot wounds. Only one civilian was among the wounded.



via www.foxnews.com

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