Islamic State terrorists who stormed and held a Bangledesh cafe hostage, executed foreign hostages who could not recite the Islamic Koran, according to the father of a survivor.
The terrorists killed 20 hostages, while police were able to rescue 13 others after a 10-hour standoff that began Friday night. A total of 28 people were killed in the attack, including two Bangladeshi police officers.
General Nayeem Ashfaq Chowdhury, a spokesman for the Bangladeshi military, told the Dhaka Tribune the hostages were killed execution-style with “sharp objects,” indicating possible torture. Earlier reports of the attack noted that one of the terrorists was wielding a sword.
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Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni confirmed Saturday that nine Italian nationals were killed in the assault. Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said a young female student from the University of California, Berkeley was also killed. The remaining dead reportedly hailed from South Korea, Japan and Bangladesh.
The U.S. Department of State confirmed that all U.S. citizens were accounted for shortly after the attack.
The ISIS militants targeted the Holey Artisan Bakery, a popular cafe in Dhaka’s Gulshan diplomatic district. Witness reports said the terrorists yelled “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) as they stormed the cafe, followed by three shots and a grenade.
ISIS media outlet Amaq News Agency took credit for the attack while the stand-off was ongoing.
Bangladesh has seen a significant increase in terrorist attacks in the last year. Radical Islamic terrorists have targeted atheists, gay people, bloggers and journalists, some of whom were hacked to death with machetes. The most recent attack was the murder of a Hindu priest by radicals the morning before the assault on the cafe.
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