The Bangladesh military spokesman, on Saturday confirmed the death of 20 hostages during a siege in Dhaka, when terrorists stormed a restaurant.
Brig.-Gen. Nayeem Chowdhry, the spokesman, said six of the terrorists holding the hostages were killed.
He said the victims were chopped to death by sharp weapons inside the Holey Artisan Bakery restaurant in the Gulshan diplomatic district of Dhaka.
Chowdhry said that a search operation was launched as the militants were killed after 12 to 13 minutes of commando operations.
“The forces found a number of firearms – including pistols, AK-22 rifles and sharp weapons at the scene.”
Some diplomats said on condition of anonymity that some of the foreign hostages included several Italians and one or more Japanese citizens.
“Two of the 13 hostages rescued are Sri Lankan nationals and one is Japanese, but more information would be available on the deceased after investigations,” he said.
He said the gunmen entered the restaurant at about 8.45PM Friday (1445 GMT) as customers were eating.
The spokesperson said tense standoff carried into early morning after two police officers were killed in an initial exchange of gunfire.
The Islamic State terrorist organisation reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.
Other reports said American officials suspected al-Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent, which the U.S. declared a terrorist group the day before.
It added that thousands of alleged radical militants had been arrested in Bangladesh in recent weeks.