Bangladesh’s government declared two days of national mourning after terrorists stormed a cafe in the capital city of Dhaka, killing 20 hostages and injuring 30 people. The six gunmen and two police officers were also killed.
Among the victims in the deadly attack at Holey Artisan Bakery cafe, which first started as a hostage situation and lasted 12 hours, were nine Italians, seven Japanese, two Bangladeshis, one Indian, and one US-Bangladeshi.
Those killed included several students. Indian national Tarishi Jain, 19, was a sophomore at University of California Berkeley, while Abinta Kabir and Faraaz Hossain studied at Emory University.
Bangladeshi security forces managed to rescue 13 other people during the attack that was reportedly carried out by extremists from a local militant group identified as Jamaeytul Mujahdeen Bangladesh.
“They have no connections with the Islamic State,” said a Bangladeshi official to AFP.
Nevertheless, ISIS appeared to claim responsibility for the attack, releasing photographs of some of the attackers.
According to initial reports, the militants attacked the cafe in hopes of finding and singling out foreigners.
Extremists have carried out a number of attacks in Bangladesh in the past two years. These attacks have largely targeted secularists, activists, academics, and minorities.