Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Embassies in Dhaka Issue Alerts As Commandoes Stormed Restaurant in Hostage Rescue Bid

Bangladesh security forces on Saturday stormed a restaurant in Dhaka’s diplomatic quarter and rescued thirteen people, after gunmen held about 20 people hostage for ten hours and kept police at bay with gunfire and grenades, officials said. In a television broadcast, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that 13 hostages had been rescued, but some had been killed, according to Reuters. Six gunmen were killed and one was captured alive, she added. Earlier, Italy’s ambassador to Bangladesh, Mario Palma, told Italian state TV that seven Italians were among the hostages. Four Japanese nationals were also among the hostages, local television reported. About 20 foreign guests were in the restaurant, said Reza, adding that the restaurant had foreign staff, too. The U.S. Embassy in Dhaka posted an emergency message on its website asking American citizens to shelter in place and monitor the news amid ‘reports of shooting and hostage situation in Gulshan 2, Dhaka.” The French embassy in Dhaka issued a similar alert via Twitter. In Washington. U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby told a press briefing that all American staff at the embassy had been accounted for. In New Delhi, India’s Ministry of External Affairs issued a similar statement. “All Indian High Commission officials are safe. We are closely monitoring the situation,” the ministry said.



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