Five killed in assault to free Bangladesh terror attack hostages were militants

Author

08 July, 2016

Police closed major hotels and eateries in and around hotel Westin, about 1 km from the Holey Artisan Bakery, the restaurant that was attacked.

One of the hostages who was trapped by gunmen at a Dhaka restaurant on Friday may have been shot dead by police after authorities mistook him for an attacker.

In Dhaka, authorities were still holding five of the 13 hostages rescued when commandos stormed the restaurant in Dhaka's diplomatic zone Saturday morning, killing six of the attackers and capturing one.

At least 20 hostages were killed during the terror attack, which Islamic State has claimed responsibility for.

People pay their respects to the victims of the Dhaka care attack in Bangladesh. The government has blamed the restaurant attack and other recent killings on domestic militants bent on imposing Islamic rule.

Police believe that Jamaat-ul-MujahideenBangladesh (JMB), an outlawed domestic group that has pledged allegiance to IS, played a significant role in organising the band of privileged, educated young attackers.

Saiful Islam Chowkidar, one of the restaurant's pizza makers, was among six people killed when officers launched an attack to end the almost 12-hour siege.

Analysts say that the government is wary of acknowledging that groups such as IS or Al-Qaeda are operating in Bangladesh over fears that it will frighten off foreign investors.

Meanwhile, the hunt for accomplices of the gunmen who killed 20 people focused on six suspects.

The five named in the case filing were Nibras Islam, Rohan Imtiaz, Meer Saameh Mubasheer, Khairul Islam and Shafiqul Islam. "The sixth man was a restaurant employee", Saiful Islam, a top Bangladesh police official told Reuters.

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Unlike the previous attacks, the assailants were well-prepared and heavily armed with guns, bombs and sharp objects that police later said were used to torture some of the 35 captives.

Babul told The Associated Press that the missing men are sons of serving and retired government employees. Two other suspects are in hospital.

Police were also in touch with security agencies in Malaysia, where two of the attackers had attended a private university, but officials said they had not found any links with worldwide militant groups.

"They are members of the Jamaeytul Mujahdeen Bangladesh (JMB)", Asaduzzaman Khan said.

"We went to the military, but they would not hand over the body, they said he was a suspect".

The JMB has been accused of involvement in numerous killings over the past year and Islam said police were interrogating more than 130 of its members already in custody in the hope of gleaning clues.

"I want to tell the rulers of Bangladesh that the jihad you see today is not the same that you knew in the past", he said from a busy street in the militant group's de facto capital of Raqqa, in Syria.

Police released photographs of the bodies of five attackers, along with their first names: Akash, Badhon, Bikash, Don and Ripon.

However, there has been speculation that the attackers could have been helped by someone inside the restaurant, especially in bringing in bags with firearms and sharp weapons they used to butcher the hostages, including a young Indian woman.


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