Dhaka attack: Commandos rescue hostages; six militants killed

Gunmen attacked the café in Dhaka's high-security Gulshan diplomatic area late on Friday.

Bangladesh army commandoes ended the hostage crisis in the capital on Saturday, storming a cafe in the diplomatic zone where militants held many foreigners captive. The commandos rescued nearly 10 hostages, security officials, said adding that at least six militants were killed in the operation.

Gunmen attacked the café in Dhaka's high-security Gulshan diplomatic area late on Friday and took at least 20 hostages, including foreigners, before the commandos launched an operation to free the hostages. Two senior police officers were killed and 30 people were injured in the operation.

People from the neighbourhood said that explosions and intense gunfire were heard in the area around the Holey Artisan Bakery cafe.

Mizanur Rahman Bhuiyan, a deputy director at the Rapid Action Battalion force, said the total number of gunmen and hostages holed up in the restaurant was not clear.

Seven Italian nationals and some Japanese are believed to be among the hostages in the café.

"One foreigner, probably Japanese, was among those who escaped after more than 100 commandos launched an operation to secure the upmarket cafe in Dhaka," Bhuiyan told Reuters.

The Islamic State (IS) claimed the responsibility of this attack. Most of the earlier attacks on minorities, bloggers, academics, activists and free thinkers were also claimed by the Islamist militants. But this is probably the first time ever when foreigners were taken hostage in Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh government has always denied the existence of Islamic State militant group in Bangladesh and has blamed homegrown Islamists for the attacks.