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Wednesday 29 January 2020

Dhaka Café attack: Bangladesh court sentences 7 to death

Described variously as 'the worst terrorist attack in Bangladesh history' and '7/16', the terrorist attack in 2016 had claimed 29 lives

A Bangladesh court has sentenced seven accused to death in the case of a terrorist attack on Dhaka Café in 2016. Justice Mujibur Rahman of the Anti-Terrorism Bangladeshi Tribunal on Wednesday read out the sentence.

Twenty-nine people including an Indian girl were killed in this attack in the Bangladesh capital. Those who have been sentenced to death are Jehangir Hussain alias Rajib Gandhi, Rakibul Hasan Regan, Aslam Hussain alias Rashidul Islam alias Rash, Abdus Sabur Khan alias Sohil Mahfuz, Hadur Rahman Sagar, Shariful Islam Khalid alias Khalid and Mamunur Rashid Ripon Are.

Eight defendants pleaded not guilty for the gruesome attack on 1 July 2016. During the attack on Dhaka Café, five armed militants took possession of the Holle Artisan Café in Dhaka for 12 hours where they killed 22 people, including nine Italian and seven Japanese, while holding dozens of people hostage.

The local media described the incident as 7/16.

Two police officers, five terrorists and two bakery staff were killed when the security forces challenged the militants. The Bangladesh Armed Forces launched a counterassault named Operation Thunderbolt after the terror siege. The assault was led by the 1st Para-commando Battalion, an elite force in the Bangladesh Army. All the attackers were Bangladeshi citizens.

Those who were killed in the attack included

  • Cristian Rossi (Italian)
  • Marco Tondat (Italian)
  • Nadia Benedetti (Italian)
  • Adele Puglisi (Italian)
  • Simona Monti (Italian)
  • Claudia Maria D’Antona (Italian)
  • Vincenzo D’Allestro (Italian)
  • Maria Rivoli (Italian)
  • Claudio Cappelli (Italian)
  • Hideki Hashimoto (Japanese)
  • Nobuhiro Kurosaki (Japanese)
  • Koyo Ogasawara (Japanese)
  • Makoto Okamura (Japanese)
  • Yuko Sakai (Japanese)
  • Rui Shimodaira (Japanese)
  • Hiroshi Tanaka (Japanese)
  • Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain (Bangladeshi)
  • Ishrat Akhond (Bangladeshi)
  • Rabiul Karim (Bangladeshi)
  • Salauddin Khan (Bangladeshi)
  • Saiful Islam Chowkidar (Bangladeshi)
  • Zakir Hossain Shaon (Bangladeshi)
  • Abinta Kabir (Bangladeshi)
  • Tarishi Jain (Indian)

The five terrorists who died during the rescue operation by military and joint forces:

  • Nibras Islam
  • Rohan Imtiaz
  • Meer Saameh Mubasheer
  • Khairul Islam

Terrorist organisation Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack although the Bangladesh government said that the jihadist group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) was behind the attack.

The court had completed the recording of the statements of 113 witnesses in the case on 27 October.

Investigating officer Humayun Kabir said 13 of the 21 suspects in the case had been killed at different times in different raids and the remaining eight accused were in jail. The 13 terrorists involved in the Dhaka Café attack include those who were killed in an attempt to free the hostages during the incident.

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