Multiple people are dead and numerous hostages have been taken after gunfire and explosions erupted outside of a popular café.
At least two Italian citizens are known to be dead after being shot by a group of gunmen that burst into the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka, Bangladesh early Friday morning. According to the U.K. Express, at least two police officers and a civilian were also injured, and an untold number of hostages have been taken by the five terrorists.
The Express has more:
They opened fire, and while police and members of the Bangladeshi Rapid Action Battalion came to the scene, it is believed they are holding people hostage in the bakery.
The Rapid Action Batallion’s chief, Benazir Ahmed, said: “We believe we can resolve this peacefully.”
The American Embassy tweeted “Please shelter in place and monitor news”, while the American State department confirmed there was a hostage situation.
A worker at the bakery told explained how people burst into the store and took the chief chef hostage.
Sumon Reza said: “They blasted several crude bombs causing widespread panic among everyone. I managed to flee during this confusion.”
Another eyewitness witness said he could hear gunfire from his house and it “looked quite bad”.
It is believed foreigners inside the restaurant and police are preparing a plan to enter the premises.
Fox News is reporting on a live broadcast that the assailants screamed “Allahu Akbar” as they stormed the building.
The attack comes just hours after Islamic militants hacked a Hindu priest to death just 188 miles south west of the capitol of Bangladesh. The priest was trimming flowers outside of his temple when three Muslim youths drove up on a motorcycle, then hacked him to death with machetes and fled the scene.
“The nature of killing was similar with the local militants, but we can not say more at the moment,” the local police chief said.
Bangladesh has seen an uptick in radical Islamic violence in recent years, according to the Associated Press. At least 18 people, including atheist bloggers, foreign aid workers and religious minorities, have been killed in attacks over the last two years, which caused police to launch a crackdown that led to the arrests of some 12,000 people in the country.
The Islamic State has been claiming responsibility for the attack; however, just like our government, the nation’s government refuses to acknowledge the influence the terror group has on potential jihadists. They instead blame lone wolf attackers for wanting to cause chaos in the country, which doesn’t do much to help the nation’s security.
This is a live and breaking story, we’ll keep you updated as more information is learned.