5 killed, 11 rescued as Bangladesh security forces storm restaurant to free hostages

DHAKA — At least five have been killed while more than 11 hostages rescued as joint Bangladesh special operation forces stormed a Dhaka restaurant on Saturday morning to free dozens of people from gunmen there, police said.

Five to six gunmen stormed the restaurant in Dhaka’s diplomatic enclave Gulshan Friday night. The Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the attack.

“Efforts to negotiate a peaceful end to the crisis are still ongoing though we’ve started the raid,” said a police official who did not like to be named.

He said naval commandos have been called in to join personnel from the police, Rapid Action Battalion, and Borders Guard Bangladesh for the raid.

Bangladesh army soldiers have also been mobilized, according to the police official.

As huge number of policemen cordoned off the area, the miscreants opened fire at the law enforcers.

Attackers also hurled bombs at policemen.

The police official said the heads of security forces held talks with top policymakers after the situation remained unsolved throughout the night.

Seven Italian nationals and an unknown number of Japanese are thought to be among the hostages in the Holey Artisan Bakery restaurant, which is popular with foreigners. PNA / Xinhua / northboundasia.com