No Malaysians in Dhaka cafe hostage-taking drama

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KUALA LUMPUR: No Malaysians were involved in a hostage-taking incident at a cafe in Dhaka, Bangladesh, according to a Malaysian High Commission official in the Bangladeshi capital.

The cafe is about 300m from the residence of the Malaysian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Nur Ashikin Mohd Taib, and about 3km directly across a lake from the high commission.

It is popular with foreigners located in the diplomatic zone in Dhaka.

“All our home-based and local staff are accounted for,” the official told Bernama when contacted in Dhaka.

There are some 200 Malaysians in Dhaka, many of whom have returned home for the Aidilfitri break.

In a statement today, the Foreign Ministry confirmed that so far there were no Malaysians involved in the incident that took place at the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka’s Gulshan district.

Reports out of Dhaka said that gunmen took hostages Friday night, with one media outlet reporting Saturday that Bangladeshi troops shot dead six gunmen and rescued 14 hostages as the cafe standoff ended.

It was also reported that Daesh (the Islamic State terrorist network) had claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Foreign Ministry said Malaysia condemned in the strongest terms the action of the perpetrators.

“The government of Malaysia calls on the government of Bangladesh to intensify their efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice,” it said.

“The government of Malaysia expresses its deepest condolences and sympathies to the government and people of Bangladesh, especially to the families of the victims,” the statement said.

It said the Malaysian High Commission would continue to monitor the situation.

Italian and Japanese citizens were reported to be among those held hostage.

BERNAMA