20 hostages, including tourists, slaughtered in Bangladesh cafe attack: No reports of S'poreans affected

20 hostages have been killed in a bloodbath at a cafe in Bangladesh on Saturday (July 2).

According to AFP via The Straits Times, the Western-style Holey Artisan Bakery cafe in the upmarket Gulshan neighbourhood was packed with foreigners.

Nine victims were Italian while Japan confirmed that seven of its nationals were killed.

A US citizen and a 19-year-old Indian who was studying in California were also among the dead.

Bangladesh’s prime minister implored Islamist extremists to stop killing in the name of religion.

As the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group claimed responsibility for the attack in capital Dhaka. Survivors recalled how hostage-takers separated locals from foreigners before they were slaughtered with 'machete-style weapons'. 

Bangladeshi authorities held an 11-hour siege.  Elite commandos stormed the cafe and killed six hostage-takers. One of the assailants was captured alive and arrested, the army said.

The Straits Times states that there have been no reports of Singaporeans involved in the attack.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said that Singapore "strongly condemns" the attack.

"There can be no justifications for such heinous actions," MFA said in a statement.

"We express our deepest condolences to the bereaved families and wish the injured a speedy recovery." 

MFA said it has verified the safety of all registered Singaporeans in Dhaka.

"Thus far, there are no reports of any Singaporeans injured or directly affected by the incident," it said.

The Singapore Consulate in Dhaka is also in contact with the Bangladeshi authorities.

The Ministry advised Singaporeans "to exercise vigilance and follow the instructions of the Bangladeshi authorities".

It also reminded them to let their family and friends know that they are safe.

Those who are in Dhaka and require consular assistance can contact the Singapore consulate in Dhaka or the 24-hour MFA duty office.

The Straits Times

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