UPDATE: New reports reveal that three of the 20 killed were American college students: Tarishi Jain, who was studying at the University of California Berkeley, and Abinta Kabir and Faraaz Hossain of Emory University.
Terrorists killed 20 hostages, many of them foreigners, in a brutal attack on a popular Bangladeshi restaurant on Friday, July 1.
According to The Associated Press, the 11-hour standoff at the Holey Artisan Bakery cafe in Dhaka, Bangladesh, resulted in the deaths of patrons who were “Italians, Japanese, South Koreans, Bangladeshis and … Indian.”
One of the first victims, according to The New York Times, was 19-year-old Tarishi Jain, a student at the University of California, Berkeley, and a graduate of the American International School in Dhaka.
“I have spoken to her father Shri Sanjeev Jain and conveyed our deepest condolences,” Sushma Swaraj, India’s minister of external affairs, wrote on Twitter. “The country is with them in this hour of grief.”
Around 8:45 p.m. on Friday, several armed men entered the restaurant and shouted “God is great” before opening fire and detonating several explosives, an eyewitness told the Times.
Kitchen workers, patrons, and wait staff were all held hostage, and according to Bangladesh’s Daily Star newspaper, the gunmen went on to torture anyone who was unable to recite the Koran, killing patrons with sharp weapons and sending photos of the bodies to the Islamic state.
The Times reported that several kitchen employees were able to lock themselves in a bathroom and reach out to family and friends via social media. One employee messaged his brother, saying, “We are here so if possible break the wall of the bathroom and rescue us.”
By the time the Bangladeshi forces were able to break into the restaurant to rescue the hostages, however, the employee’s messages had stopped.
The Times reports that a team of elite army commandos was able to rescue 13 hostages and kill six attackers when they finally stormed the restaurant, 11 hours after the attacks began. They also arrested a seventh attacker.
“It was an extremely heinous act,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in a televised statement. “What kind of Muslims are these people? They don’t have any religion. My government is determined to root out terrorism and militancy from Bangladesh.”
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