Banani OC killed as hostage crisis intensifies

02 Jul 2016, 00:28 | updated: 02 Jul 2016, 02:10

NTV Online

Dhaka: Banani Police Station Officer-in-charge Salauddin Khan was reportedly killed and around 53 people, including several policemen, were injured in an exchange gunfire between police and gunmen who stormed into a Spanish restaurant in Dhaka’s Gulshan area on Friday night and took inmates hostage. 

Salauddin’s nephew Mishuk Hasan told reporters at the United Hospital gate that the police officer succumbed to injuries he suffered in the gunfight. 

At least 50 of the injured, including Additional Deputy Commissioners of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Sheikh M Maruf Hasan and Ahad, were rushed to the United Hospital.

Witnesses and an assistant commissioner (patrol) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) said about five assailants entered Holey Artisan Bakery restaurant on Road 79 in the upmarket Gulshan area and opened fire at at about 9:20pm (1320 GMT).

The police said the criminals opened fire at the law enforcers from inside the restaurant, leaving many injured. 

Restaurant employee Sumon Reza said he was on the 1st floor when the gunmen barged into the restaurant.

He said at least 20 foreigners were inside the eatery when the criminals, maximum eight in number, entered it.

Reza said he along with 12-15 other employees went to the rooftop and climbed down outside through pipes.

Huge number of policemen, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) members and Border Guard Bangladesh cordoned off the restaurant in Gulshan diplomatic zone and gunshots were still being heard when this report was filed at about 1:00pm on Saturday.   

Several people including foreign nationals are believed to be trapped in the situation.   

All the surrounding roads were also blocked.

Talking to reporters at the spot at about 11:15pm, RAB chief Benazir Ahmed said several gunmen barged into the restaurant after evening.

He, however, said the criminals allowed some of the restaurant employees to come out.

Benazir said they would try to talk to the criminals and resolve problem in a peaceful manner as it is their first choice.

He also called upon the television channels not to telecast the drive live in the national interest. 

Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police AKM Shahidul Hoque visited the injured at United Hospital.