Dhaka: Terrorist group Islamic State (IS) has claimed the responsibility of the attack at a restaurant in the diplomatic quarter of the Bangladeshi capital late Friday in which a number of gunmen, said to be eight to nine, reportedly took several hostages.
Bangladeshi security personnel stand guard after gunmen stormed a restaurant in Dhaka's high-security diplomatic district early on July 2, 2016. Pic/ AFP
IS-affiliated wire Amaq Agency said IS is behind the ongoing Bangladesh attack.
Meanwhile, Assistant Superintendent Fazle-e-Elahi confirmed that four police officers have died and the gunmen are holding approximately 40 hostages.
US President Barack Obama has been briefed on the hostage situation in Dhaka, White House officials said.
Police have reportedly asked the media to stop live reporting of events unfolding while they attempt to negotiate with gunmen to release hostages.
"We are trying to talk to the attackers, we want to listen to them about what they want," Police said.
Chief of the Rapid Action Battalion, Benjir Ahmed said "derailed youths" entered the restaurant and launched the attack.
"One of the attackers was armed with a sword, the others carried guns," an employee of a nearby café told RT.
Some witnesses said they heard shooting noise and bomb blasts.
At least four police officials were injured earlier after police exchanged fire with the gunmen attacked the restaurant popular with foreigners.
Security forces have not yet entered the premisis of the restaurant, known as the Holy Artisan Bakery but are planning a rescue operation shortly.
"Bangladesh plans to start operation soon to rescue hostages from Dhaka restaurant, held by 8-9 gunmen," a police officer was quoted as saying.