Two police officers are dead and at least 40 people are injured after a shooting in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka. Seven Italians were among those taken hostage, said Italian ambassador to Bangladesh, Mario Palma. One Italian reportedly escaped and told police of the other seven left inside, a foreign ministry source said. “It is a suicide attack,” Palma said to Italian state TV. “They want to carry out a powerful and bloody operation and there is no room for negotiation.” Binoy Krishna Bala, deputy inspector general of police, said that 27 police personnel were among the injured. As many as eight gunmen stormed a cafe in a diplomatic zone, taking at least 20 civilians hostage. Maruf Hasan, of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said the gunmen targeted the Holey Artisan Bakery, which several sources said is popular with Westerners, expatriates, and diplomats. The U.S. Embassy in Dhaka confirmed “reports of shooting and hostage situation” through its Twitter page. Officials suspect that Islamic militants were responsible for the attack, as extremists are believed to be responsible for carrying out a series of grisly murders in the country in recent months. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack late Friday night.
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