Friday, July 01, 2016

Bangladesh Commandos ‘Ready’ to Launch Assault to Free Hostages
  Senior Correspondent,
2016-07-02 06:51:46.0 BdST

Security forces are preparing for an assault to free hostages from gunmen who are laying siege to a restaurant at Gulshan while efforts to negotiate a peaceful end to the crisis are ongoing.

The security forces have taken position amidst rain.

The unprecedented hostage crisis in Bangladesh unravelled after heavily armed men fired shots and detonated explosives to enter Holey Artisan Bakery inside Dhaka’s diplomatic zone.

Naval commandos have been called in to join personnel from the police, Rapid Action Battalion, Borders Guard Bangladesh for a possible raid, said Chief Crime Correspondent Liton Haider, who is at the site.

Army soldiers have also been mobilised there.

The heads of security forces held talks with top policymakers after the situation remained unsolved throughout the night, correspondent for Prime Minister’s Office Sumon Mahbub has confirmed.

Liton Haider said the security officials asked all civilians gathered in the area over the loudspeaker to leave around 5am after the top RAB and police officers returned from the meeting.

The plainclothesmen were also asked to wear vests of their forces.
People who have escaped unscathed from the building have said there were about 20 trapped inside including foreign nationals who frequented the restaurant.

There were armoured vehicles lining the street of the posh district, besides fire trucks and vehicles from the power board.

“The preparations suggest that they might move into the restaurant. They were preparing techniques to approach the site,” said Haidar.

OC Md Salauddin of Banani Police Station and Detective Branch Assistant Commissioner Robiul Islam have died of injuries sustained earlier on Friday night.

The attackers, eight to ten men carrying knives and guns, threw grenades at law enforcers when they tried to enter the restaurant.

Massive security forces have been mobilised in the area with frequent checkposts in most turns at Gulshan and Banani.

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