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Artisan Bakery falls silent after siren-blaring ambulances leave its premises

WT24 Desk

What was a popular eatery even a day back turned into a tragic spot with the police cordoning off the Holey Artisan Bakery restaurant and its adjacent areas to preserve evidence as it saw the killing of 28 people, including foreign nationals, policemen and terrorists, UNB reports.

The mood was somber and tragic when law enforcers took out the bodies of 20 victims and six assailants from Gulshan Holey Artisan Bakery around on Saturday afternoon. The bodies were taken to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Dhaka for autopsy.

Thirteen ambulances carrying the bodies left the restaurant premises around 4:20pm amid tight security by members of the Army, Police and Rab.

Later, all the Army members left the scene, ending their long commando operation at the ill-fated restaurant launched on June 15, 2014. The eatery, located at the diplomatic zone, was popular among foreigners living in Bangladesh. The restaurant has a lawn inside its premises.

Minutes after the ambulances left the scene, Dhaka Metropolitan deputy commissioner Moshiur Rahman told reporters that they will keep the restaurant and its adjacent areas cordoned to preserve evidence. “The expert teams will visit the spot and collect necessary evidence,” he said.

Moshiur said they will not allow common people and journalists to enter the restaurant and its adjacent areas unless their all necessary procedures are completed. Replying to a question, he said now only law enforcers are staying inside the restaurant.

Earlier, Director (Military Operation) Brig Gen Nayeem Ashfaq Chowdhury at a press conference said security forces recovered the bodies of 20 victims launching a commando operation at the restaurant when six attackers and two policemen were also killed after terrorists held hostage a good number of people in it.

He also said a total of 13 people, including three foreigners–one Japanese citizen and two Sri Lankan nationals, were rescued alive from the restaurant. Asked about the whereabouts of the rescued people, a police officer, wishing anonymity, said they all are now in their safe custody.

He said they will examine whether any of the rescued people had link to the bloody incident. The police officers said all the attackers were very young and their average age could be 25. He also said the assailants might have killed the victims well before midnight and as most of the bodies bore injury marks by sharp weapons.

The police officer also said 2-3 Bangladeshis may be there among the 20 victims. He said they will disclose the identities of the victims and attackers later after scrutiny. Meanwhile, some friends and relatives of people remained missing after the attack appeared at the spot to know about their whereabouts.

Talking to journalists, Monohar Corraya, an Indian citizen, said his boss Nadia Venditti, managing director of a buying house, remained missing since she along with her five Italian clients came to Holey Artisan Bakery on Friday evening.

Niren Sarker, another Indian citizen, said his friend’s daughter and Indian citizen Tarushi Jain along with two Bangladeshi friends, including businessman Latifur Rahman’s grandson Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain, remained missing since they went to the restaurant on Friday evening.

Meanwhile, panicked gripped the residents of the restaurant area following the deadliest ever terrorist attack in the country.

Abul Kalam, a businessman who resides at Spring Del building near the restaurant, said people in the areas are stunned following the incident. “We can’t imagine such a horrible incident can happen here!”

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