At least 20 people were killed in the terrorist attack in Holey Artisan Bakery at Gulshan area of Dhaka, Bangladesh on Friday. The café was popular among the expatriate community, and the attack seem to be aimed at foreign nationals. Eighteen of the 20 civilians who were killed were foreigners, including an Indian teenager. Nearly all were hacked to death with machetes. The attack was even more shocking as it came on the final weekend of Ramazan, with survivors describing how the hostage-takers made clear their targets were non-Muslims, separating locals from the foreigners.
Together they died
Among the Bangladeshis who were killed, 20-year-old Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain, the terrorists offered him the opportunity to save his own life and walk away safely because he was Bangladeshi, but when they refused to let his two friends, Abinta Kabir and Tarishi Jain, leave as well, he chose to stay with them and share their fate rather than save himself. He refused to abandon them and was found dead the next morning.
An atmosphere of terror
A lot of confusion is going on regarding which outfit orchestrated this attack. While the IS have claimed that the attacks have been made by them, the Bangladeshi government attributed the attack to Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh and has also blamed ISI (based on initial reports). It is still not clear nor confirmed as to which group perpetrated the attacks and the motives behind it. The attack is again an example of the turmoil that has been going in Bangladesh for a really long time. For the past three years, writers, bloggers, gay rights activists have been killed in Bangladesh by people from unknown outfits. Few weeks back, a Hindu cleric was also brutally murdered. All these incidents have been regularly inflicting an atmosphere of terror in the country.
Hasina cracks the whip and yet…
Bangladesh’s prime minister Sheikh Hasina has cracked the whip on hardline elements in Bangladesh, had recently executed an opposition member found guilty of war crimes during the 1971 war. Hasina has shown her courage in upholding of secularism in Bangladesh and has been bold in persecuting hardline elements of the country. In the wake of this terrorist attack, Hasina has her task cut out and she will have to sweep the country from the dangers which lie within.