The only people that were spared in this attack were those who could cite the Koran. 20 victims have been killed.
At least three American students have been identified among 20 people killed during an ISIS attack on a cafe in Bangladesh yesterday.
Abinta Kabir, a student at Emory University who was from Miami, Florida, died when terrorists attacked the largely foreign crowd inside the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka.
Fellow Emory student Faraaz Hossain, who attended the college’s business school, was also identified as being among the dead by a spokesman today. Tarushi Jain, 19, who studied at University of California Berkeley campus was also killed.
Kabir, a sophomore at Emory’s Oxford campus, was an American citizen, while Hossain was born in Bangladesh and Jain was of Indian origin.
A spokesman said: ‘Emory University has learned that two Emory students, Abinta Kabir and Faraaz Hossain, were among those taken hostage and murdered by terrorists yesterday in the attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
‘Abinta, who was from Miami, was a rising sophomore at Emory’s Oxford College.
‘Faraaz, who was from Dhaka, was a graduate of Oxford College and a student at the university’s Goizueta Business School.
‘The Emory community mourns this tragic and senseless loss of two members of our university family.
‘Our thoughts and prayers go out on behalf of Faraaz and Abinta and their families and friends for strength and peace at this unspeakably sad time.’
According to witnesses a group of six Islamist radicals stormed the cafe yesterday evening armed with assault weapons, pistols and ‘sharp objects’ before taking more than 30 people hostage.
The terrorists then hacked 20 people to death, sparing only those who could recite the Koran, before engaging police in a 12-hour standoff.
The cafe was eventually stormed by elite Bangladeshi commandos who killed the attackers and freed the remaining hostages.
Among those killed are nine Italians, as well as tourists from Japan, South Korea, and India.
The Italian foreign ministry confirmed the dead as: Adele Puglisi, Marco Tondat, Claudia Maria D’Antona, Nadia Benedetti, Vincenzo D’Allestro, Maria Rivoli, Cristian Rossi, Claudio Cappelli, and Simona Monti.
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed declared two days of mourning for the victims to take place on Sunday and Monday.
She also thanked all those who had expressed their solidarity with Bangladesh, and vowed that terrorism would be exterminated at all costs.
Army Brigadier General Naim Asraf Chowdhury said: ‘Most of (the hostages) were killed mercilessly by sharp weapons last night.’
On Friday night, Hasnat Karim had brought his family to celebrate his daughter’s birthday.
Hasnat was too traumatised to say more than a few words about his ordeal, saying only that the hostage-takers ‘did not misbehave with us’.
But he detailed to his father Rezaul how the gunmen – who were armed with automatic weapons, bombs and makeshift machetes – had split the diners into two groups.
Rezaul said: ‘(The foreigners) were taken to the upper floor and the Bangladeshis were kept around a table.’
He said his son told him the terrorists ‘did not hit people who could recite verses from the Koran. The others were tortured’.
He added: ‘The gunmen asked everyone inside to recite from the Koran. Those who recited were spared. The gunmen even gave them meals last night.’
Elite Bangladeshi commandos stormed the building after siege of more than 12 hours, freeing some 13 hostages.
Six of the terrorists were shot dead and one was arrested at the scene.