Dhaka: A fierce gun battle broke out last night between Bangladeshi security forces and unidentified gunmen who stormed a popular restaurant in Dhaka's high-security Gulshan diplomatic area where several people, including foreigners, have been held hostage.
A large number of policemen and personnel from the RAB had cordoned off the area. Pic for representation
A police official, who was injured in the intermittent firing by the gunmen shouting "Allahu Akbar" from inside the Holey Artisan Bakery, succumbed to his injuries. The armed men, whose number could not be ascertained, barged into the restaurant, popular with expatriates and diplomats, and opened fire at around 9.20 pm (local time).
Several foreigners were supposedly taken hostage inside the restaurant, police said. "We are trying to negotiate with the gunmen holed up inside the restaurant," said Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) chief Benazir Ahmed.
The attackers hurled bombs from inside the restaurant, and were firing intermittently, injuring policemen, including an Additional Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, and some people at the restaurant. Firing of gunshots and sounds of explosions were heard from time to time near the restaurant.
A kitchen staff of the bakery, who managed to escape, said several armed men entered the restaurant around 8.45 pm and took the chief chef hostage, media reports said. "They set off several crude bombs triggering panic," he added.