ISIS militants attacked and killed 22 non-Muslims and foreigners in an attack on a restaurant in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The restaurant was retaken by Bangladeshi forces after a 10-hour siege. During the siege, the ISIS militants separated the foreigners and non-Muslims from their hostages are reportedly hacked and knifed them to death. Attacks by Islamic militants has become a disturbing trend in Bangladesh. Since the beginning of 2016, over 40 secular bloggers, religious minorities, gay rights activists, and academics have been attacked and killed by militants claiming to work with ISIS. Will Bangladesh now take steps to combat the radical group?
7/2/2016 Bangladesh (USA Today) – By the time the 10-hour siege was over Saturday inside a restaurant in Bangladesh’s capital, 22 people — plus six terrorists — were dead in a bloody attack in which 20 people unable to quote from the Quran were pulled aside and hacked or knifed to death.
The carnage ended when Bangladesh commandos stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery, an eatery popular with foreigners in Dhaka’s diplomatic zone, and rescued 13 hostages.
Police Lt. Col. Tuhin Mohammad Masud said six assailants were gunned down in the raid. Two police officers were killed in the early stages of the takeover.
The Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, claimed responsibility for the terror attack, saying its fighters targeted the citizens of “Crusader countries.”
The U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group says the group’s Amaq news agency released smiling photos of five of the purported attackers who used noms de guerre, indicating they were Bangladeshi.
The U.S. State Department said one American was among those killed, but did not identify the victim. Also killed were nine Italians, seven Japanese and one Indian, according to those countries. Two students attending Emory University in Atlanta and one who attended the University of California-Berkeley were among the dead.
The Amaq news agency said the killers used “knives, cleavers, assault rifles and hand grenades” on their hostages, but released Muslims unharmed.
The father of one of the hostages said the gunmen tortured anyone who could not recite a verse from the Quran, the Daily Star newspaper reported. Rezaul Karim said his son, Hasnat, was at the restaurant with his wife and children to celebrate his daughter’s 8th birthday.
“They (gunmen) did not behave rough with the Bangladesh nationals,” Rezaul said, quoting his son’s account of the ordeal. “Rather they provided night meals for all Bangladeshis.”
“The gunmen were doing a background check on religion by asking everyone to recite from the Quran,” he said. “Those who could recite a verse or two were spared. The others were tortured.”