Nation mourns

Victims to be given state honours at Army Stadium today; Japanese, Italian officials in city


The country on Sunday mourned the deaths in the militant attack at restaurant Holey Artisan Bakery in the capital’s highly secured Gulshan diplomatic enclave, which left 28 people, including 17 foreigners and six suspected gunmen, dead.
Since Sunday morning, the national flag was at half-mast at government and autonomous offices, educational institutions and other establishments across the country as the part of the two-day mourning.
People wore black badges and prayers were offered in mosques, temples, churches and all other places of worship.
Friends and well-wishers offered wreaths at the police barricade near the spot, while different socio-cultural and political organisations held protests in Dhaka and elsewhere against the killings.
Expressing shock at the grisly attack, Nobel laureate Mohammad Yunus said, ‘We must do soul searching as to how this breeding of violence began in our country’.
The sympathisers also held different programme including lighting candles while condemnations continued at rallies and on social media.
People from cross-section of society lit candle at Central Shaheed Minar on Sunday evening, where the protesters denounced the ‘cowardly attack’ and vowed to continue social movement against militancy.
The government, meanwhile, planned to give state honours to the 20 hostages who were killed among the 28 people.
Families and embassies were told that the bodies would be handed over to the respective families following the ceremony at Army Stadium.
The bodies were kept to Combined Military Hospital at Dhaka Cantonment since Saturday afternoon.
Japanese state minister for foreign affairs Seiji Kihara visited the crime scene while Italian and European delegation already in the city to know what were behind the attack and how the investigation was proceeding.
In a meeting with the Japanese minister, prime minister Sheikh Hasina said on Sunday that the roots of the culprits who provided arms and explosives to the terrorists would be traced.
‘We must find out the roots of the culprits who gave arms and explosives to the terrorists for committing the barbaric attack on the restaurant,’ she said.
The prime minister and the Japanese state minister agreed that Bangladesh and Japan would fight terrorism together, PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim said after the meeting held at Ganobhaban.
The police kept the crime scene off-limits to the media and any outsiders while the traffic was also restricted in the diplomatic zone following the militant attack, according the Site Intelligence Group, claimed by Islamic State.
The 12-hour hostage crisis at Spanish restaurant Holey Artisan Bakery ended on Saturday morning, leading to the deaths of 28 people including 17 foreigners, two police officials and six suspected gunmen.
Army-led ‘Operation Thunderbolt’ with sophisticated arms, armed personnel carriers shot to death six people believed to be attackers who killed at least 20 hostages, including of nine Italians, seven Japanese, three Bangladeshis and one Indian national, slitting throat inside the restaurant on Friday night.
The Japan Times reported that the seven victims were part of a group of eight who were working with the Japan International Cooperation Agency, a governmental agency involved in Japan’s official development assistance.
They were identified through photographs and belongings, said chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga, who declined to disclose their names as their families had not given their consent to do so.
Italy earlier indentified their nine national as Adele Puglisi, Marco Tondat, Claudia Maria D’Antona, Nadia Benedetti, Vincenzo D’Allestro, Maria Rivoli, Cristian RossiI, Claudio Cappelli and Simona Monti killed on Friday’s attack in Dhaka, according to Italian foreign ministry.
The bodies of three Bangladeshis — arts promoter Ishrat Akhond, Elegant Group chairman’s daughter Abinta Kabir and Transcom Group owner Latifur Rahman’s grandson Faraz Hossain, and Indian national Tarishi, 19, would be handed over to their respective families.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Robiul Islam, 34, and Banani police station officer-in-charge Salauddin Khan, 50, got killed in bomb blast while 20 other police personnel sustained serious injuries.
The police will hold commemoration meeting today at Rajarbagh Police Lines.
Following the attack, inspector general of police AKM Shahidul Hoque visited police constable Prodeep and Alamgir, who were among the 20 injured, admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Talking to journalists, the police chief said on Sunday security measures had been tightened in the capital and elsewhere across the country.
‘Members of the law enforcement agencies have remained alert to face any sort of militant attacks,’ he added.
Since Sunday morning, the Criminal Investigation Department and Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit were visiting the crime scene.
‘Investigation is going. The primary investigation suggests it’s the act of JMB [Jama’at ul Mujahideen Bangladesh]. Details will be confirmed once the investigation is completed,’ the police chief said.
He said police had earlier a list of those criminals involved in the Gulshan terror attack and they used to do different criminal activities changing their names.
During a Saturday’s press conference at Dhaka cantonment, the army’s director military operation Brigadier General Nayeem Ashfaq Chowdury said six out of seven ‘terrorists’ were killed during the ‘Operation Thunderbolt’.
The police headquarters named five of the killed suspects as Akash, Bikash, Don, Badhon and Ripon without elaborating their details.
The Facebok users, however, shared the identities of four out of the five identified as ‘IS soldiers’.
They were identified as Nibrash Islam, Meer Saameh Mubasheer, Rohan Ibn Imtiaz, Raiyan Minhaz and Andaleeb Ahmed.
Rohan’s father SM Imtiaz Khan Babul, the youth and sport affairs secretary of ruling Awami League city unit, had filed a general diary with Mohmmadpur police station on January 4, 2016 stating that his son was missing from December 30, 2016.
The police were still investigating the complaint. Saameh Mubasheer also went missing four months ago, the family said.
The police, however, have not identified Siaful Islam as the attacker. The family said he was a chef of the Spanish restaurant. His body will also would be handed over to the family today.
US-based SITE Intelligence Group said that Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.
Detective investigators examined all the people rescued. No case was filed until 9:45pm, said Gulshan police station duty officer Waziur Rahman.
In protest at the attack, Gana Forum president Kamal Hossain said lack of rule of law and lack of freedom of expression was responsible for the terrorist activities.
Communist Party of Bangladesh and Workers Party of Bangladesh, among others, staged demonstration and called on the people to get united against the militancy.

Source: new age


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