Hostages taken from Dhaka’s cafe
Gunmen barged into the cafe named Holey Artisan Bakery cafe in Dhaka on 2nd July at around 21:10 (13:20 GMT) and opened fire. The diplomatic area of Bangladesh was taken by a storm, as several people were taken hostages by these unknown gunmen. There are many foreigners among the people who are being held hostage in the cafe by eight or nine armed men.
Death and Injury
Two policemen died in the gunfight. Moreover almost 30 people have been reported to be injured
Are foreigners safe in Dhaka?
The armed men attacked a cafe that is frequented by foreigners. Many foreigners are present among the people who have been taken hostage. Some Italian and Japanese citizens were believed to be present in the cafe. Till now it has been reported that almost 20 people of different nationalities have lost their lives. Though the report has not been confirmed till now.
The security forces are trying their best to negotiate the hostages release. Benazir Ahmed, chief of the Rapid Action Battalion, Bangladesh’s elite police force said- “We want to resolve this peacefully. We are trying to talk to the attackers”. The police forces are for now mainly concerned about rescuing the helpless hostages. Their first priority is to rescue the people who are trapped inside the cafe.
Is the Government lacking?
This attack has caught the government unaware and Bangladesh’s intelligence gathering system and security are at a questionable position. The government denies the role of the Islamic State militant group in this incident. It is suspected by the government that the Islamic extremists are behind this atrocious incident. The timing of this attack is also something to be thought about. As the country is getting ready for the Eid festival and people are going home for their holidays, this incident shocked the citizens of Bangladesh.
Is Bangladesh moving from secularism to sectarian terror?
Such an incident has never before taken place in the history of Bangladesh. Foreigners never faced any danger in Bangladesh. But extremism and violence has recently taken its toll on this peace loving and harmonious country. Academics, activists and people from minority religious groups have been targeted before. Bangladesh couldn’t revive from the heartbreak of the death of Xulhas Mannan, the country’s most prominent gay activist, when they are again pushed into this new crisis. Media reports quoted witnesses as chanting “Allahu Akbar”, meaning “God is greatest”, during the time of attack. Continued gunfire was heard by the people living in the neighborhood. Bangladesh is currently in a state of utter chaos.
The recurring violence in Bangladesh is raising questions about the safety of the country. It is being feared that this secular country is being led to an era of sectarian terror by invisible hands. We ardently hope that the government of Bangladesh will soon discover the force behind all these extremist incidents and put an end to the violence. Bangladesh deserves a safe and secular horizon.