Gunmen take hostages in Bangladesh restaurant

Holey_TripAdvisor000_0 (1)The police in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, surrounded a restaurant in the city’s diplomatic zone on Friday night after several people were taken hostage by gunmen who detonated explosives, local media reported.

Witnesses took to Twitter to report hearing gunfire, and posted images of armed paramilitary officers surrounding the restaurant, the Holey Artisan Bakery, said to be popular with expatriates, diplomats and middle-class families.

The State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs alerted American citizens in the area to reports of shooting and a hostage situation in the Gulshan neighborhood and advised them to “shelter in place and monitor news.”

Sumon Reza, a kitchen worker at the restaurant who escaped, told The Daily Star, a Bangladeshi newspaper, that several armed men entered the restaurant around 8:45 p.m. and took hostages.

“They blasted several crude bombs, causing wide-scale panic among everyone,” he said. “I managed to flee during this confusion.” Mr. Reza said the attackers were armed with pistols, swords and bombs and shouted “God is great” before detonating their explosives. (Courtesy New York Times)