Twenty Hostages Die In Bangladesh Terror Attack | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Twenty Hostages Die In Bangladesh Terror Attack

Posted: Jul 2, 2016 at 4:34 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)


At least 12 of the 20 hostages who were killed in an hours-long attack at a cafe in Bangladesh’s capital over the weekend have been publicly identified, including three people who attended college in the United States.

Two of the students attended Georgia’s Emory University. That included Abinta Kabir of Miami, who was a sophomore at Emory’s campus in Oxford, Georgia. She was in Dhaka visiting family and friends, the school said.

The other was Faraaz Hossain, of Dhaka, a junior at Emory’s Goizueta Business School in Atlanta.

“The Emory community mourns this tragic and senseless loss of two members of our university family. Our thoughts and prayers go out on behalf of Faraaz and Abinta and their families and friends for strength and peace at this unspeakably sad time,” Emory said.

The third student was Indian citizen Tarushi Jain, 19, who was studying at the University of California at Berkeley, according to India’s minister of external affairs, Sushma Swaraj.

At least nine of the dead were Italian nationals, Italy’s Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Saturday.

According to the Italian foreign ministry, they were: Adele Puglisi; Marco Tondat; Claudia Maria D’Antona; Nadia Benedetti; Vincenzo D’Allestro; Maria Rivoli; Cristian Rossi; Claudio Cappelli; and Simona Monti.

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed on Saturday declared two days of mourning for the victims.

The Prime Minister thanked all those who had expressed their solidarity with Bangladesh, and said terrorism would be exterminated at all costs. The national mourning period will be observed Sunday and Monday.

Bangladeshi troops stormed an upscale bakery in Dhaka’s diplomatic enclave Saturday morning, ending an 11-hour siege by militants who killed 20 hostages and two police officers, officials said.

It was the deadliest and boldest act of terror in a country that has become increasingly numb to ever-escalating violence by Islamist militants.

The victims, most of them foreigners, were among roughly three dozen people taken hostage when attackers stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery on Friday evening with guns, explosives and other sharp weapons, authorities said.

Some guests and workers managed to escape, jumping from the bakery’s roof. Others crouched under chairs and tables as the gunmen fired indiscriminately, witnesses said.

Early Saturday morning, military commandos moved in. By the end, 13 people had been rescued and 20 were dead at the restaurant, officials said. Two police officers had been killed in a gunfire exchange earlier in the standoff, authorities said.

Six terrorists were killed and one was captured alive, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed said.

Exactly who was behind the attack is unclear.

ISIS claimed responsibility through its media branch, Amaq. But a U.S. official told CNN it was more likely that al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent conducted this attack. The official said AQIS has demonstrated a more capable presence in Dhaka over the past few months than ISIS, and so far, all of its attacks in the nation have been in the capital.

Not all of the names of the dead were immediately released. One was Indian citizen Tarushi Jain, 19, who was studying at the University of California at Berkeley, according to India’s minister of external affairs, Sushma Swaraj.

One Japanese national and two Sri Lankans were among the hostages rescued, officials from both nations said.

The rescued Japanese national was having dinner with seven other colleagues from Japan, who are missing, said Koichii Hagiuda, the deputy chief Cabinet secretary.

Japan has sent Vice Foreign Minister Seiji Kihara, along with a team of terrorism experts, to Dhaka.