Two suspects detained as Bangladeshis mourn cafe massacre victims

Two people were detained Monday on suspicion of involvement in last week’s terrorist attack on a restaurant in the Bangladeshi capital as residents in Dhaka paid their respects to the victims.

“One of the suspects is undergoing treatment at a hospital while the other is physically unwell in police custody,” Inspector General of Police Shahidul Hoque told reporters.

The suspects' names were not disclosed. Investigators plan to quiz them once their condition improves.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed a floral wreath near the coffins of the victims at Dhaka’s Army Stadium on the second day of national mourning.

Television footage showed the prime minister standing silent for a moment on the stage.

Ministers, diplomats, political leaders, relatives and friends of the victims and others paid their last respects after the premier left.

The 20 civilians comprised nine Italians, seven Japanese, one Indian, two Bangladeshis and one US national.

They were killed by Islamist militants who took them hostage during a siege that started Friday at the Holey Artisan Bakery cafe in the diplomatic district.

Security forces stormed the cafe early Saturday, killing six terrorists. Two police were also killed.

Eighteen relatives of the Japanese dead and injured arrived in Bangladesh on Sunday and would collect the bodies of their loved ones before returning together with the Japanese survivor of the attack, according to Vice Foreign Minister Seiji Kihara, who was quoted by Kyodo News agency.

Thirteen hostages, mostly Bangladeshi nationals, were rescued during the army-led operation.  

Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Bangladesh said the terrorists were home-grown.

US Secretary of State John Kerry phoned Prime Minister Hasina on Sunday to convey President Barack Obama’s condolences to the families of the victims, Hasina’s press officer Ihsanul Karim told reporters.

During the phone conversation, Kerry offered Bangladesh assistance to stamp out terrorism and militancy, Karim said.

Last update: Mon, 04/07/2016 - 14:00
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