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dhaka attack newsGunmen attacked a restaurant popular with expatriates in the diplomatic quarter of the Bangladeshi capital on Friday and took hostages, including several foreigners, police said.

Eight to nine gunmen attacked the Holey Artisan restaurant in the upscale Gulshan area of Dhaka, and police were preparing to start an operation to rescue the hostages, said Benjir Ahmed, the chief of Bangladesh’s special police force.

CNN said 20 people were being held in the restaurant.

Ahmed said the assailants had hurled bombs at police. One policeman was dead and two others wounded by gunfire that erupted as they surrounded the restaurant, police said.

A resident near the scene of the attack said he could hear sporadic gunfire nearly three hours after the attack began. “It is chaos out there. The streets are blocked. There are dozens of police commandos,” said Tarique Mir.

IS claims attack

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the gun attack, an IS-linked news agency reported.

“Islamic State commandos attack a restaurant frequented by foreigners in the city of Dhaka,” the Aamaq news agency said.

It claimed that “more than 20 people of different nationalities (were) killed”.

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