Gunmen Kill 4 Officers, Take Dozens Hostage in Bangladesh

 

 

Attackers stormed a restaurant Friday night in Bangladesh's capital, taking about 40 people within the diplomatic enclave hostage and exchanging gunfire with police, killing four security personnel, officials said.

A team of seven or eight attackers entered the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka's Gulshan area around 9:20 p.m. local time (11:20 a.m. ET) and were holding customers and staff captive at gunpoint, Assistant Superintendent Fazle-e-Elahi told NBC News by phone from Dhaka.

 

"Suspects are extremist militants from an unidentified group," the security official said. "All are heavily armed and equipped. There are seven to eight militants engaging us."

 

He added that among the roughly 40 hostages, at least one appeared to be a Westerner.

"They are tactically sound," the official said of the attackers. "They are using grenades and weapons in tow."

The ISIS-affiliated Amaq news agency reported that the group had claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the terror research firms Flashpoint Intelligence and Site Intelligence Group.

Sumon Reza, a kitchen staffer who escaped the attack, told reporters that the gunmen were armed with firearms and bombs as they entered the restaurant.

 

A huge contingent of security guards cordoned off the area around the establishment, trading gunfire with the attackers who set off bombs.

 

TV reports said the identities of the attackers were not immediately known.

 

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