Indian and Italian nationals are among the hostages, said a duty officer at the Rapid Action Battalion's control room.

Heavily armed militants struck at the heart of Bangladesh’s diplomatic zone on Friday night, taking dozens of hostages at a restaurant in Dhaka popular with foreigners. Two police officers were killed and at least 26 people wounded in a gunbattle as security forces cordoned off the area and sought to end the standoff.
The attackers have not made a demand yet in exchange for the hostages.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack and said 24 people had died. Bangladesh police denied that assertion, saying that two police officers had been killed and at least 15 people wounded.

At least 35 people, including about 20 foreigners, were still trapped inside the restaurant, said a kitchen staffer, who was among more than 10 people who managed to run to the rooftop and escape.

Indian and Italian nationals are among the hostages, said a duty officer at the Rapid Action Battalion’s control room.

Those who managed to escape the restaurant said the attackers chanted “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) as they launched the attack around 9:20 p.m. local time Friday, initially opening fire with blanks.

Three policemen were wounded by gunfire that erupted as police surrounded the Holey Artisan restaurant in the upscale Gulshan area of Dhaka, a police officer said.

He said there were foreigners inside the restaurant and that police were preparing a plan to enter the premises.

Bangladesh has seen a series of attacks, mostly using machetes, targeting bloggers, atheists and religious minorities.

LIVE updates (All times in IST):

July 2
7:20 am: Bangladeshi security forces have stormed inside the restaurant, reports AFP.

7:12 am: In order to deal with attackers, a commando group of Bangladeshi navy has been deployed at the site, reports

7:07 am: CNN reports that the terrorists haven’t made any demand yet.

7:04 am: Various embassies are in constant contact with Bangladeshi authorities to know about the hostage situation and to ensure the safety of foreign nationals held hostage.

7:02 am: According to Bangladeshi news channel Samay says that there are about 7-8 gunmen holding hostage.

7:00 am: US investigating IS claim on the attack, according to CNN.

6:10 am: Islamic State posts photos, claims they are of dead foreigners according to their news agency Amaq.

05:30 am: According to internet service provider Aamr, authorities also ordered internet services to be blocked across the country.

05:20 am: Bangladesh police preparing to launch operation at Dhaka restaurant, to begin at dawn.

05:11 am: Indian and Italian nationals are among the hostages, said a duty officer at the Rapid Action Battalion’s (RAB) control room.

01:45 am: Police say two officers have been killed by attackers.

01:30 am: Hospital authorities said another 25 officers and one civilian were being treated for injuries, including 10 people listed in critical condition.

01:20 am: Islamic State claims responsibility for attack on cafe in Bangladesh, says more than 20 people killed, reported the outfit’s news agency Amaq. Bangladesh authorities did not immediately respond to the claim.

01:05 am: Bangladesh media quoting intelligence sources reports that ISIS has claimed responsibility for Dhaka restaurant attack

12:54 am: Rabiul Islam, Assistant Commissioner of Detective Branch of Police succumbs to his injuries: Bangladesh media

July 1

11:54 pm: All Indian High Commission officials reportedly safe, our High Commission is monitoring the situation: Ministry of External Affairs

11:48 pm: Bangladesh TV channels have stopped broadcasting live from hostage situation after Rapid Action Battalion requested to stop: Bangla media

11:40 pm: 

11:10 pm: Police negotiator have appealed the gunmen to lay forward their demands and are still waiting for response.

11:06 pm: US spokesperson John Kirby briefed the media on apparent hostage situation, said that all American citizens working with the embassy in Dhaka. Kirby said it’s “too early to say who is involved.”

11:05 pm: Bangladesh media reported eight armed men, in their early 20’s, entered the Dhaka cafe shouting slogans. Gun battle is on.


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