World

DHAKA: ISIS (Daesh) has claimed responsibility for the grueling day-long siege by gunmen on an upmarket cafe near the Bangladesh capital Dhaka’s diplomatic quarters.

The militants launched an attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery on Friday, starting a 12-hour stand-off which ended on Saturday after Bangladeshi special forces stormed the cafe early to free the hostages.

According to one government spokesman, six of the attackers were killed and one was arrested.

Twenty foreigners were killed by the armed militants in an overnight siege on the upscale Dhaka cafe, the Bangladeshi government said on Saturday.

India’s foreign minister said a young Indian woman was among the dead. Italy’s PM Matteo Renzi  also confirmed that Italians were among the dead.

13 hostages were rescued by Bangladeshi forces, including one Japanese national and two Sri Lankans

“It was an extremely heinous act,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in a televised statement. “What kind of Muslims are these people? They don’t have any religion.”

“My government is determined to root out terrorism and militancy from Bangladesh,” she added.

Pope Francis also condemned the attack as an “offence against God and humanity.”