Sat, 02 July 2016
Dhaka terrorists had a well thought-out media strategy
23:53 Dhaka terrorists had a well thought-out media strategy
According to Rukmini Callimachi, The New York Times correspondent who focuses on Al Qaeda and ISIS, the Bangladesh attack claimed by ISIS is proving to be more sophisticated in terms of pre-planning than we have seen in the past.
According to Callimachi, 'in keeping with the modus operandi pushed last year by Abdelhamid Abaaoud, planner of the Paris attack, the assailants in Bangladesh created a hostage standoff. The purpose of a hostage standoff was to extend length of operation & thus extend the press coverage, as well as a chance to make demands."
"It now appears images of bodies lying in pools of blood next to bakery's ratan chairs were photographed by assailants and sent back to the IS. They may have tried to do this during the November 13 attack on Bataclan concert hall in Paris. Witnesses saw suicide bombers trying to get online," she said on Twitter.
While asserting that social media had now made even the smaller, regional acts very effective in spreading the message of terror, Callimachi said: "Survivors (in Paris) reported that suicide bombers seized their phones; tried to surf the net, but the 3G network was out. Two witnesses saw a bomber whip out a laptop. But they did not succeed in getting images out."
"But in Dhaka, they not only got images out but also details of the operation (turns out they were right when they said 20 people were killed). The information they fed out went straight to ISIS' core media operation, appearing in close to real time on ISIS' Amaq News Agency. One other aspect of planning: Like Paris attackers, they left behind images of themselves pre-attack. In this case posing next to IS flag."
22:44 Hillary interviewed by FBI about State department emails: US media
Democratic White House hopeful Hillary Clinton was quizzed today by the FBI about her use of personal email while serving as secretary of state, a campaign spokesman said.
"Secretary Clinton gave a voluntary interview this morning about her email arrangements while she was secretary" of state, spokesman Nick Merrill said in a statement.
"She is pleased to have had the opportunity to assist the Department of Justice in bringing this review to a conclusion. Out of respect for the investigative process, she will not comment further on her interview."
The bureau's interview with the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is believed to be the final step in its investigation into the potential mishandling of classified information on Clinton's private email server.
Hundreds of now-classified documents -- some of them "Top Secret" -- were sent and received through Clinton's private server, which she housed at her New York residence during her tenure at the State Department.
FBI investigators have already interviewed several Clinton aides, including her former chief of staff Cheryl Mills and her deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin. Investigators have also interviewed Bryan Pagliano, the former State Department information technology specialist who maintained Clinton's server.
22:42 Tarishi's kin in talks with MEA on travel to Dhaka
The relatives of Tarishi Jain, a 19-year-old Indian girl killed in the terror attack in Dhaka, are in talks with the Ministry of External Affairs to travel to the neighbouring country.
A cousin of Tarushi, Shirish Jain, said, "We are in talks with the Ministry of External Affairs as all the near and dear ones want to reach Dhaka at the earliest. No one else from her family, apart from Tarishi's parents, is in Dhaka. MEA has been helpful in arranging our visas."
Tarishi's uncle, Rajeev Jain, described the fateful evening, "Tarushi stays in Bangladesh. She had gone to the cafe along with her friends and was taken hostage. After the operation she was found dead. She was 19 years old. She was studying in America and had come to Dhaka to spend her holidays with her parents."
Tarushi, a student at UC Berkeley, was on vacation. Her father runs a garment business in Bangladesh for the last 15-20 years, according to officials.
In a series of tweets, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said,"I am extremely pained to share that the terrorists have killed Tarishi, an Indian girl who was taken hostage in the terror attack in Dhaka.
"I have spoken to her father Sanjeev Jain and conveyed our deepest condolences. The country is with them in this hour of grief.
21:42 Novak Djokovic crashes out of Wimbledon
Sam Querry seeded 28th stunned World No.1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic in the third round of Wimbledon in London.
Querrey ended Djokovic's remarkable Grand Slam winning run, downing the defending champion 7-6 6-1 3-6 7-6.
Speaking to reporters after the match, Querrey, the 28th seed, said: "It is incredible, especially to do it here at Wimbledon. I am so happy and ecstatic. I think today I played the break points really well. I was able to come up with a big serve, fought in the tie-breaker and was able to force a couple of errors. You saw he came out and got the first four games. I had to regroup. Heis on his way to being possibly the best ever so I knew he was going to come back. I am just going to take it one round at a time. I am not even sure who I play next."
It is Djokovic's earliest defeat at a grand slam since the third round of the 2009 French Open!
21:25 Kejriwal govt spent Rs 42 lakh in 'misleading' ads?
A Delhi court was on Saturday told that Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi Government had spent over Rs 42 lakh by giving advertisements in 20 newspapers which allegedly misled people by claiming that municipal corporations are not under state's control.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Munish Markan was informed by the petitioner that in an RTI reply, Delhi government has admitted that a total expense of Rs 42,01,405 was incurred in giving advertisements to the newspapers on October 30, 2015.
The counsel for complainant Brijesh Shukla argued that public money was wasted for "spreading lies" and people were "misled".
The court fixed October 18 for hearing further arguments on the complaint.
The complainant has sought direction to the SHO of Karawal Nagar police station in North East Delhi to register an FIR against Kejriwal under Section 406 (criminal breach of trust) of IPC.
The complaint has claimed that Kejriwal had come out with full-page advertisements in newspapers in October last saying there were misunderstandings regarding a strike by MCD employees and he wanted to make it clear that it was wrong to say that the corporations come under the Delhi government.
"In November 2015, I filed an RTI with Delhi government which in its reply has said that the corporations are under its control. Action should be initiated against him (Kejriwal) for misleading people and spending public money for spreading lies," the complainant has said.
20:56 Stop killing in name of religion: Hasina
"Stop killing people in the name of Islam", Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said today as she vowed to do everything to eliminate terrorists from the country after 20 foreigners were killed in an attack on a cafe in Bangladesh claimed by the Islamic State terror group.
Announcing a two-day state mourning for those killed in the worst terror attack in the country, Hasina asked all, including the general public, to get united to resist a "handful of terrorists".
"Inshaallah (God willing), by eliminating terrorists from their roots, we'll establish Bangladesh as a peaceful state...no conspiracy can hinder our advancement, let's work together, putting behind our all differences, to establish a secure Bangladesh as dreamt by the Father of the Nation," she said in a televised address to the nation.
Hasina said at a time when Bangladesh is trying to establish itself in the world as a self-dignified and self-reliant country, a nexus of local and international conspirators are hatching a conspiracy to hinder this progress.
India hold Argentina in six-nation tournament
Valencia, Jul 2 (PTI)
Indian men's hockey team managed to hold Argentina to a thrilling 3-3 draw in the six-nation Invitational tournament during their penultimate round-robin match, here today.
The first half started off slowly before Argentina took control of the ball in the first quarter, trying to carve inroads into the Indian defence.
The opening goal of the match came just seconds before the hooter as Matias Paredes netted the ball to give Argentina the lead going into the break.
India then carved the Argentina defence open with a sweeping move, that ended with Ramandeep fouling at the goalmouth with only the goalkeeper to beat. India were awarded a stroke, and Rupinder Pal Singh converted it into a goal in the 16th minute to draw level.
20:51 Thousands march through London against 'Brexit'
Thousands marched through London today in a 'March for Europe' to voice their protest against last week's politically-charged referendum result in favour of Britain's exit from the European Union that has bitterly divided the country.
Demonstrators at the rally, which was organised on social media, waved placards saying "Bremain", "We Will Always Love EU" and "Never Gonna Give EU Up".
They gathered around Park Lane before setting off for Parliament Square in the British capital.
A campaign poster for the event reads, "Bring food to share with each other ideally from a different European country".
Before of the event, organiser Kieran MacDermott wrote on its Facebook page, "We can prevent Brexit by refusing to accept the referendum as the final say and take our finger off the self-destruct button. It is the responsibility of parliament to consider our democracy more carefully and call for a vote before they all accept the UK's decline".
19:51 Bodies of 9 Italians have been identified: Italy foreign minister
Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni says the bodies of nine Italians have been identified among the dead in the Dhaka restaurant attack.
Gentiloni told reporters Saturday that there was another, unidentified body in the military morgue of Bangladesh but its nationality hasn't been determined. Italian news reports had said about 10 Italians were inside the restaurant when it was attacked by militants on Friday night.
One Italian who managed to escape the attack was earlier quoted as saying there had been 10 or 11 Italians seated at two tables when the attack began on Friday night in the diplomatic quarter of Dhaka.
"I was seated with my wife and a customer, at the other (there were) seven, eight persons," Gianni Boschetti told the Italian news agency ANSA, without giving any details about the fate of his wife or the others. Earlier, Italian radio reports said an Italian cook had escaped unharmed, but it was not immediately clear if Boschetti might be the cook.
19:33 Mumbai: 3 killed in boiler explosion in RCF plant
Three workers were today killed and as many injured in a boiler blast at the Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilisers plant in Mumbai's suburban Chembur.
"Three people died and three were injured in a boiler blast. The injured were shifted to a nearby hospital," a senior official, who inspected the spot, said.
Mumbai police spokesperson Ashoke Dhude said the explosion occurred during the maintenance work.
"As per preliminary information, maintenance work was on when the incident took place," he said.
Despite repeated attempts, RCF officials could not be reached for comments.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announces 2 days of national mourning, according to media reports.
19:01 Our duty is to reply with greater force: Italy PM after Bangladesh carnage
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi today prepared the country for tragic news, warning the nation had suffered "a painful loss" after hostage-takers murdered 20 foreigners in Bangladesh.
In a brief TV address, Renzi did not say how many Italians were among the casualties, but local media said 11 had been taken hostage, only one of whom had escaped.
"We are like a family which has suffered a painful loss," Renzi said.
The attackers who believed they were "destroying our values" would not get a drop of encouragement from Italy, he said.
"We are stronger," Renzi said.
"The terrorists want to rip away the daily fabric of our lives. Our duty is to reply with even greater force, by affirming our values, the values of freedom of which we are proud, and which are stronger than hatred or terror."
18:51 England prepared to cancel Bangladesh tour after foreigner killings
England cricket chiefs indicated Saturday they were prepared to cancel a tour of Bangladesh after an attack saw 20 foreigners killed in the country.
Hostage-takers murdered 20 foreigners, hacking many of their victims to death, before six attackers were gunned down by Bangladesh commandos at the end of an overnight siege Saturday at an upmarket restaurant.
The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the carnage at the start of the Eid holiday.
England are due to arrive in Bangladesh on September 30 for a month-long tour including three one-day internationals and two Test matches.
But an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) spokesman made it clear that they were prepared to abandon the tour if they or the British government deemed the security situation in Bangladesh unsafe come the squad's scheduled departure date.
Due to heavy rains warning:River Rafting banned in Kullu (Himachal Pradesh)
17:39 Terrorists warn of Heathrow attack on Twitter
Terrorists that claim to support the Islamic State have used Twitter to threaten an attack on London's Heathrow airport, a media report said today.
An alert from the SITE Intelligence Group yesterday warned that a "pro-Islamic State" account had issued threats against aircraft "flying from Heathrow to the US" this weekend, which coincides with the American Independence Day holiday, 'The Times' reported.
The alert warned of a potentially deadly device being placed at Heathrow, Los Angeles airport or JFK in New York.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, UK transport minister, urged the public to be "vigilant".
"We all need to be vigilant to the threat of terrorism. In the UK we keep all aspects of aviation security under constant review and work closely with our international partners to mitigate risks. We will continue to take all steps necessary to keep the public safe but for security reasons we do not comment in detail on specific measures or operational matters," he said.
17:25 IS attack: It is a wake up call for us, North Dhaka Mayor
Anisul Haque, Mayor of North Dhaka, on the terror attack:
"We just can't allow this to happen. This should be the last such incident. Govt will strongly react. This is highly condemnable. It is a wake up call for us. We need to stay and fight together."
Bangladesh army spokesman says authorities now believe not all 20 victims of Dhaka cafe attack were foreign, some were locals.
17:03 18 injured in Mecca stampede
Eighteen pilgrims have been injured in a stampede near the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi media reported on Saturday, as the kingdom continues to review safety after a deadly crush during last year's Hajj.
The incident happened on Friday night, the Al-Riyadh newspaper said, as the pilgrims gathered in large numbers to mark the Night of Destiny, one of the high points of Ramzan.
All the injured were treated at the scene and none required admission to hospital.
Last year, more than 2,000 pilgrims died after a stampede broke out.
JUST IN: Local train services disrupted on Mumbai's harbour line due to technical snag, trains delayed by more than 20 minutes.
16:59 Dhaka Attack: Bangladeshs 7/16
This was the first time that the country faced a hostage situation in 40 years. And the police was perhaps caught unaware since the situation they encountered last evening and which lasted for nearly 12 hours, they had never faced before in recent times.
What was the aim of the hostage takers one is not sure. There was no demand that we know of as yet that the terrorists made in exchange for the hostages. Apparently it was also not a simple kill-as-many-as-you-can and run action. The choice of target is also significant, it being one frequented by foreigners.
Read more HERE
16:27 Dhaka attack: Fate of 7 Japanese hostages still unknown
Of the eight Japanese citizens who were taken hostage by gunmen at Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka, one was rescued, a top official said in Tokyo today.
Japan was unable to contact the seven, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda told reporters.
The eight are employees of private firms engaged in a Japan International Cooperation Agency construction project.
The man who was rescued was shot and was being treated at a hospital, Hagiuda said, adding he was in stable condition.
Japanese officials in Dhaka had met with the man, whose name is being withheld.
JICA had earlier said it was unable to contact eight Japanese workers in the country as of Saturday afternoon and was working to confirm their locations.
Separately, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina over phone. She told Abe that 13 people were rescued including three foreigners, Hagiuda said.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted, "I am extremely pained to share that the terrorists have killed Tarushi, an Indian girl who was taken hostage in the terror attack in Dhaka. I have spoken to her father Sanjeev Jain and conveyed our deepest condolences.The country is with them in this hour of grief."
15:46 1 Indian among 20 feared dead in Dhaka hotel siege
At least 20 persons, including 13 hostages, were killed in Friday night's terror attack at a restaurant in Dhaka's Gulshan area. One of the persons killed is an Indian national, identified as Tarishi Jain, an official said.
"She is a young Indian girl." However, the police is yet to disclose any details. Two of the persons are Japanese nationals, while one is a Sri Lankan.
15:29 Arunachal landslide toll mounts to 10
The toll in the landslide at Bhalukpong in Arunachal Pradesh's West Kameng district rose to 10 with the recovery of five more bodies this morning. The rescue operation, which was suspended last evening, resumed at the break of the dawn and the five bodies were recovered, West Kameng SP A Koan said. old Angel Lenua, the SP said.
The landslide, triggered by torrential rain, killed five people and injured four others yesterday. The injured were admitted to the Bhalukpong Community Health Centre. The rescue operation is being conducted by a NDRF team, ITBP personnel and local residents.
15:18 Cops killed in Dhaka attack died of splinter injuries
Police officers Rabiul Islam and Salauddin Khan, who were injured during the standoff with gunmen last evening in Dhaka, died of splinter injuries, doctors said.
Islam, assistant commissioner of the Detective Branch of Police, and Khan, officer-in-charge of Banani Police Station, bled excessively after the attack, said Dr Sohel Mahmud, assistant professor of forensic and medicine department of Dhaka Medical College who conducted autopsies of the two victims. Splinters hit Rabiul in his right chest while Salauddin suffered splinter injuries in his throat, the doctor said.
15:00 Rajnath, Vohra offer prayers at Amarnath shrine
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra today joined a group of devotees to offer prayers at the cave shrine of Amarnath in
south Kashmir Himalayas, marking the beginning of the annual pilgrimage.
The Governor, who is also Chairman of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, which manages the 48-day-long pilgrimage, participated in 'Pratham Puja' and paid obeisance at the 3,880-metre high cave shrine housing the naturally-formed ice-shivlingam, officials said.
The home minister was among the first devotees to pay obeisance at the shrine. Singh had visited the Amarnath shrine on the first day of the pilgrimage last year as well.
Singh arrived yesterday and reviewed the security situation at a high-level meeting in view of the recent spurt in militant attacks in the Valley.
The security for the pilgrimage, which is being held in the shadow of recent terror attacks in the state, was also discussed in detail at the meeting.
14:41 Musharraf, Kayani possess multi-million dollar Swiss bank accounts, claims UK scribe
In a startling revelation, London-based investigative journalist James D Crickton has claimed former army generals Pervez Musharraf and Ashfaq Parvez Kayani possess multi-million dollar Swiss bank accounts.
In his blog on World Press Platform, Crickton said he came to know that the two former army chiefs have several million dollars stashed away in Swiss bank accounts while he was investigating into offshore accounts of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's family.
During the course of his investigations into Prime Minister Nawaz Sharifs illegal accounts, Crickton claimed that former president Musharraf and former army chief Kayani are holding separate accounts in a Swiss bank namely Julius Baer.
Musharrafs account, he claims, is maintained by the Star Trust Company. The former presidents account allegedly had several million dollars around the time he was briefly arrested in October 2013. However, presently the balance in the account is $2 million.
Kayanis Swiss bank account is maintained by his brothers UAE-based firm, J&B Construction Company. The balance in the account is several million US dollars, Crickton claimed, quoting highly-placed sources.
14:36 IS plans to attack India through its bases in Bangladesh and Pakistan
Islamic State has made its intentions clear of launching terror attacks in India through its bases in Bangladesh and Pakistan. In an interview with the group's online magazine Dabiq in April, Shaykh Abu Ibrahim Al-Hanif, 'Amir of Khilafah in Bengal' said that once the group manages to build bases in Bangladesh, it will launch raids in east and west of India.
Shaykh asserted that Bengal (IS calls Bangladesh as Bengal) has a strategic location and building a jihadi base there will facilitate IS to launch guerrilla attacks in India.
14:00 New Taliban leader tells US to end Afghan 'occupation'
New Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhundzada today called on the US to end its "occupation" of Afghanistan in his first message since being appointed the militant group's chief in May.
"Admit the realities instead of useless use of force and muscle... and put an end to the occupation," Akhundzada said in a speech on the eve of Eid-al-Fitr, the Muslim festival marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
"Our message to the American invaders and her allies is this: the Afghan Muslim people neither fear... your force nor your stratagem. They consider martyrdom in confrontation with you as a cherished goal of their life," Akhundzada added. "You are facing... not a group or faction but a nation. You are not going to be a winner (if Allah willing)."
The message is the first by Akhundzada since his predecessor Akhtar Mansour was killed during a US drone strike in neighbouring Pakistan in May.
13:48 Kareena-Saif Ali Khan expecting their first child in December
Bollywood star couple Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan are expecting their first child this year end. "My wife and I would like to announce that we are expecting our first child in December. We would like to thank our well wishers for their blessings and support and also the press for their discretion and patience," Saif, 45, said in a statement.
Gossip mills were abuzz about the stork visiting the couple when Kareena, 35, and Saif recently went to London. Also some of her pictures were flashed across media apparently showing the baby bump.
However, on return from the trip when the media quizzed about the "Bajrangi Bhaijaan" actress about it, she flatly denied it last month.
Saif was earlier married to actress Amrita Singh and has two children -- daughter Sara and son Ibrahim.
AFP reports that 20 civilians were killed in Bangladesh hostage siege
13:11 Dhaka hostage crisis: Taslima Nasreen hits out at Bangladesh PM
Hours after heavy gunfire and explosions rang out Saturday morning at an upscale restaurant at the heart of Bangladesh's diplomatic zone, Taslima Nasreen, a Bangladeshi author who is in exile in India, took to Twitter to comment on the attack.
Taslima took a jibe at Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina saying while Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Dhaka attack, the PM was still sticking to her stand of no presence of the terrorist group in the country.
The acclaimed writer, who has earned the ire of Muslim leaders both in India and Bangladesh for her views on Islam, was also critical of the IS.
13:04 Why terrorists are attacking Hindus in Bangladesh
Jamaat-ul-Mujahideensleeper cells have been targeting religious minorities to anger foreign countries into taking action against the Bangladesh government, a top recruiter of the banned militant outfit has told the police.
Khaled Saifullah, a JMB recruiter who allegedly masterminded the attack on a Hindu Madaripur college teacher, admitted this to police after he was arrested from Dhaka's Demra in the early hours on Friday, said police's CTTC unit chief Monirul Islam.
During questioning, Saifullah said the JMB believed that attacks on the Hindu community would anger India while attacks on Christian and other religious communities would anger the US and other donor countries.
Such attacks would create a critical situation for the Bangladesh government and show the world that it was unable to protect the religious minorities, the suspected militant told the police.
12:33 Three mowed down by BJP MLA's son in Jaipur
At least three people have been killed in a road accident where a BMW car hit an auto-rickshaw in Jaipur. It is reported that the BMW belongs to the son of BJP legislator Nand Kishor, who is an MLA from Sikar, Fatehpur district.
It is reported that accident took place around 12 am.
Mahesh, relative of one of the victims, said, "We don't know the entire details. It is being said that the accident happened by a BMW car, which had earlier hit the police PCR van and then hit the auto-rickshaw. They are saying that it belongs to an MLA.
"We have been calling the police since morning but they have still not arrived." Kishore, a relative of another victim said that the accident took place around 12 am. "We have called the police at least five to six times since morning but they have still not arrived," he said.
As per the latest reports, the accused, Siddharth Mehariya has been arrested by the police and is currently in police custody at Ashok Nagar Thana, South.
Terrorists target CRPF convoy in Tral, Pulwama (Jammu-Kashmir). One jawan injured in grenade attack
11:38 'What kind of humans are these': Bangladesh PM after Dhaka attack
Following the end of the siege and the killing of six gunmen who had taken hostages at Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka's diplomatic quarter, Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina addressed the media.
-- What kind of humans are these, who are killing other humans during Ramzan?
-- All security agencies did a great job.
-- We tried to assess the situation immediately and we could end the siege within 10 hours with methodical planning
-- Bangladesh determined to fight terror. We will not allow Bangladesh to become a safe haven for terrorism
11:23 Pro-IS Twitter account warns of attack at US, Britain airports
A pro-Islamic State Twitter account has threatened to attack Los Angeles International, John F Kennedy International and Heathrow airport as the US prepares to celebrate July 4 Independence Day weekend, media reports said.
The attacks will be carried out on planes "flying from Heathrow to the US" and warned that "there will be a device placed in either [sic] Heathrow, LAX or JFK airports," Telegraph reported, citing the Twitter account.
The terror attack warning was revealed by the Site Intelligence Group, an organisation that tracks the online activity of terrorist groups."We all need to be vigilant to the global threat of terrorism -- in Britain we keep all aspects of aviation security under constant review and work closely with our international partners to mitigate risks," Transport Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon was quoted as saying.
Security has already been beefed up across the US airports.
The threat comes in the wake of a deadly attack on Istanbul's Ataturk airport and Dhaka eatery.
10:59 Suspect in Chennai techie murder attempts suicide
An engineering graduate was arrested in connection with the sensational murder of a 24-year-old-woman IT professional at a railway station last week and allegedly attempted suicide when surrounded by the police.
Ram Kumar was apprehended yesterday in his native Tirunelveli district in south Tamil Nadu by police, which had been pulled by the Madras high court earlier over its handling of the case.
He allegedly attempted suicide when police went to arrest him. He is undergoing treatment at a government hospital, police said.
JUST IN: Gangotri Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand temporarily halted due to flooding at the highway after heavy rainfall in the region
10:37 An ISIS attack in Bangladeshs capital should surprise no one
The details remain murky. On Friday night, assailants assaulted a restaurant in an upscale neighborhood in Dhaka, Bangladesh's teeming capital. They fired weapons and hurled grenades. Initial reports suggest that six to eight gunmen were inside the establishment, detaining about 20 hostages. At least one police officer was slain during the standoff with the militants.
The government, led by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has struggled to come to grips with the issue. It has rebuffed any suggestion that the Islamic State has a foothold in the country. And it has sought to deflect blame for its perceived mishandling of the security crisis.
Read more HERE
10:27 India closely monitoring Bangladesh hostage crisis
India is closely monitoring the Bangladesh hostage crisis even as officials maintained that so far all Indian high commission staffers in Dhaka were reportedly safe.
According to government sources, there were several unconfirmed reports emerging on the status of the operation by Bangladesh security forces and therefore, India was ascertaining the facts. India is closely monitoring the situation.
Reports received here so far said India high commission officials are safe, sources said. Bangladesh's hostage crisis began when suspected Islamic State militants stormed a restaurant in Dhaka's high-security Gulshan diplomatic area last night and held many people hostage, including foreigners.
10:13 'Locked in the bathroom': Texts from a brother trapped inside Dhaka eatery
Soumir Baroi trapped inside one of the bathrooms at Holey Artisan Bakery, which is witnessing a hostage situation, managed to establish contact with his brother Gopal via texts.
As gunmen held hostage dozens of people inside the popular hangout for foreigners in the capital's diplomatic zone of Gulshan, Gopal tried to reach his elder brother Soumir, who works at the restaurant, over phone.
In reply to Gopal's text, Soumir wrote, "Me and nephew are fine. Locked in the bathroom."
Soumir texted again What is the situation outside? To which Gopal replied RAB is overlooking everything. They are doing all they can do, so that you all are not harmed.
10:05 US lawmakers condemn Dhaka terror attack
US lawmakers have condemned the the suspected Islamic State attack at a restaurant in Bangladesh where several foreigners have been taken hostage, and called for action against the terror group, even as some stressed on the need to remain vigilant in its aftermath.
"Closely following the situation in Bangladesh. Yet another sign that we must all be vigilant, especially during this holiday weekend," Senator Dianne Feinstein, ranking member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said in a tweet.
Many of her colleagues in the US Senate and House of Representatives used the social media platform to condemn the terrorist attack. "We must disrupt these groups where they recruit, train, and plot to carry out their attacks," Senator Richard Burr, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said in a tweet, adding that extremist groups are no longer challenged by the distance to their targets.
09:36 IS releases images of dead bodies from inside Bangladesh eatery
The Islamic State's media agency has released gruesome images allegedly taken inside the Bangladeshi restaurant stormed by Islamist gunmen as the bloody siege comes to an end.
Piles of dead bodies are pictured strewn across the floor between tables with half-eaten plates of food still on them. According to Amaq, IS' official media outlet, these are the bodies of the diners taken hostage at the upmarket Holey Artisan restaurant on Friday night in Dhaka.
More than 20 people were killed and 40 wounded before armed police stormed the building.
No other agency has confirmed that figure. Police initially said 20 people were taken hostage. Locals and foreigners - including children - were in the restaurant when the gunmen took siege, police said.
09:12 Will never succumb to fear and hate: Hillary
Praying for the safety of those taken hostage by terrorists in Dhaka, presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton today said people will never succumb to fear and hate. "Praying for the safety of the hostages in Bangladesh," Clinton tweeted. "To the terrorists: We will never succumb to fear and hate," she said.
As US Secretary of State, Clinton had visited Bangladesh in May 2012 and had a signed memorandum of understanding with her counterpart to create the US-Bangladesh Partnership Dialogue. The fifth edition of the annual dialogue was held in Washington DC last week.
09:04 Dhaka attack: 10 hostages rescued by security forces
Eight to 10 hostages have been rescued from the restaurant that was held by suspected militants, said Bangladeshi police on Saturday. Gun-fighting has stopped but commandos remain inside the Holey Artisan Bakery restaurant, they added.
About 20 people, including foreigners, were held hostage after gunmen stormed a popular restaurant in the capital, triggering a deadly firefight with police. Two police officers were killed and at least 20 wounded, the police said.
03:14 Obama briefed on ISIS attack in Bangladesh
US President Barack Obama was today briefed by counter-terrorism officials on an ISIS terror attack at an upmarket restaurant in Bangladesh where several foreigners have been taken hostage, a White House official said.
"Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco has briefed the President on the ongoing situation in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The President asked to be kept informed as the situation develop," the official said.
The State Department Spokesman John Kirby said that the US embassy in Dhaka is monitoring the situation. "I can tell you as of now that they have accounted for 100 per cent of the American citizens working under the chief of mission authority," he told reporters.
"They're also obviously in constant touch with authorities as they continue to work through this very fluid, very live situation right now," he said.
02:21 Euro: Wales demolish Belgium to set up Portugal semis
An inspired Wales continued their golden run in Euro 2016 as they thrashed Belgium 3-1 on Friday to storm into their first ever semi-finals in a major competition.
They will play Portugal in the last four
02:03 Islamic State claims responsibility for Dhaka attack
JUST IN: The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Dhaka attack. meanwhile, Union Minister of state for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore today urged media to not reveal the identities of hostages.
"Media should refrain from identifying nationalities/identities of probable hostages in context of #Dhaka for their safety," Rathore said in a tweet.
Suspected terrorists tonight stormed a popular restaurant in Dhaka's high-
security Gulshan diplomatic area and took hostage at least 20 people including foreigners, triggering a fierce gun battle with Bangladesh security forces in which two policemen were killed and nearly 30 injured.
01:08 Chennai techie murder case: Chennai police arrest accused from Tirunelveli
JUST IN: The accused in the Chennai techie murder case has been arrested from Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu.
More details are awaited.
01:00 Dhaka crisis: 2 cops killed, at least 1 Indian among hostages
A second cop has died in the ongoing crisis.
BBC says that there is at least one Indian woman inside the restaurant. Some channels interviewed her distraught father, who is also in Dhaka.
00:24 1 killed, 35 injured in Dhaka hostage crisis
Media reports are now saying that at least one police officer who was injured in the attack has died, a senior official in the Dhaka Metropolitan Police confirmed. Around 35 people are being reportedly injured.
No group has taken responsibility yet.
00:03 8 gunmen attack Dhaka restaurant; 1 cop dead
It is now being reported that one police officer who was injured in gunfight with the attackers has died; the hostage siege is still ongoing.
It may be recalled that a Hindu priest and a Buddhist leader were brutally hacked to death by machete-wielding Islamic State terrorists while another Hindu man survived a bid on his life in Bangladesh.