PICS: Tears, prayers as Bangladesh mourns dead in hostage crisis

2016-07-04 13:59

Dhaka – Bangladesh's prime minister visited a stadium on Monday where the bodies of three of the 20 victims were taken after a weekend attack in the capital, while security officials questioned some of those who had been rescued as they searched for information on the possible masterminds.

An official involved in the investigation said authorities were still holding five of the 13 people rescued on Saturday morning when commandos stormed the restaurant in Dhaka's diplomatic zone, killing six of the attackers and capturing one.

Those detained include a Canadian citizen of Bangladeshi origin, as well as a Bangladesh-born British citizen, he said on condition of anonymity, as he was not authorised to speak to media about the ongoing probe.

He would give no other details of their identities, but said authorities were looking into their backgrounds and questioning their family and friends as well.

The attack – the worst convulsion of violence yet in the recent wave of deadly attacks to hit Bangladesh – has stunned the traditionally moderate Muslim nation and raised global concerns about whether it can cope with the increasingly strident Islamist militants.


Foreign diplomats embrace each other as they attend a ceremony to offer tribute to the victims. (AP Photo)


An unidentified woman reacts as she brings flowers to pay respect to the people who died. (AP Photo)

That the attackers targeted a popular restaurant in the heart of the diplomatic quarter of Bangladesh's capital signalled a shift in militant tactics. Previously, most attacks were carried out by gangs of young men wielding cleavers and machetes and hacking into their victims before fleeing.

Surrounded by tearful family members and a heavy security detail, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina along with diplomats from Italy and Japan lay wreaths of white flowers beside the coffins holding the three Bangladeshi victims.


Foreign diplomats offer their tribute to the victims of the attack. (AP Photo)


A relative of one of the victims of the attack on Holey Artisan Bakery reacts as people pay tribute to the deceased. (AP Photo)

Another 17 hostages, nine Italians, seven Japanese and one Indian, were killed in the attack – many of them tortured with sharp instruments, according to police.

Those bodies were to be flown back to their home countries later on Monday. Another two police officers were killed on Friday night when police engaged the attackers in a gun battle.

The stadium vigil was visited by hundreds of Dhaka residents, paying their respects to the victims.

A Catholic Mass, Islamic prayer sessions and a candlelight vigil were being held throughout Monday.


Relatives of Tarishi Jain, a victim of the attack on Dhaka's Holey Artisan Bakery, attend a memorial service before her cremation in Gurgaon, India. (Manish Swarup, AP)


Local residents pay their respects to the victims of the attack. (AP Photo)


Bangladeshis light candles as they pay tribute to those killed in the attack. (AP Photo)

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