Bangladesh Dhaka Helpline
Gunmen have attacked a restaurant popular with foreigners in the diplomatic quarter of the Bangladeshi capital, and reportedly taken at least one hostage.
Local media reported that a group of up to nine gunmen had entered the Holey Artisan Bakery cafe and opened fire on at around 9.20pm on Friday evening.
Jamuna Television quote a kitchen staff worker at the restaurant who escaped the attack and said that the gunmen chanted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest”) as they launched the attack.
A large contingency of police and security guards cordoned off the area, trading gunfire with the attackers.
Bangladesh has seen a series of attacks, mostly using machetes, targeting bloggers, atheists and religious minorities.
Earlier on Friday, a Hindu temple worker was hacked to death in the south-west of the country in the latest attack blamed on radical Islamists, police said.
At least three assailants on a motorbike fled the scene after hacking Shyamonando Das with sharp weapons, local police chief Hasan Hafizur Rahman said.
The attack happened in Jhenaidah district, 210 km (120 miles) south-west of Dhaka, as the victim was plucking flowers for his morning prayers near the temple, Rahman said. The worker died on the spot.
Gunmen attacked a restaurant popular with foreigners in the diplomatic quarter of the Bangladeshi capital on Friday and the U.S. State department said there was a hostage situation.
Three policemen were wounded by gunfire that erupted as police surrounded the Holey Artisan restaurant in the upscale Gulshan area of Dhaka, a police officer said.
He said there were foreigners inside the restaurant and that police were preparing a plan to enter the premises.
The U.S. State Department said on Twitter that there was a hostage situation in the diplomatic enclave of Dhaka.