Update: 1 American, 20 Hostages Dead In Bangladesh Attack

Photo: AP Images.
Update: July 3, 12:18 p.m.: Bangladeshi officials are refuting the Islamic State terrorist network's claim that they're responsible for the July 1 attack, which left 28 people, including the six hostage-takers, dead. Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan told AFP that the jihadists came from a rogue Bangladeshi terrorist group.

"They are members of the Jamaeytul Mujahdeen Bangladesh," Khan told AFP, according to Yahoo. "They have no connections with the Islamic State."

ISIS claimed responsibility for the 11-hour siege and The Associated Press reports that ISIS released images of the five men who reportedly carried out the attack. The photo shows the men each posing in front of an IS flag.

The White House condemned the attack in a July 2 statement. "This is a despicable act of terrorism, and the United States stands with Bangladesh and the international community in our resolve to confront terrorism wherever it occurs," read a statement from White House.
Update: July 2, 12:40 p.m.: Three students enrolled at American universities, as well as one U.S. citizen, are reported to be among those killed in Friday night’s hostage situation in Bangladesh.
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Emory University, in Atlanta, GA, announced on Saturday that two of its students, Abinta Kabir and Faraaz Hossain, had been killed in the attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Associated Press reported that Tarushi Jain, a student at the University of California, Berkeley, was also among those killed. White House Spokesman Josh Earnest also confirmed the death of one United States citizen on Saturday, though the victim's identity has not yet been released.
Government officials told the AP that the 20 deaths included nine Italians, seven Japanese, three Bangladeshis, and one Indian. A total of 13 hostages were also rescued, including one Argentinian, two Sri Lankans, and two Bangladeshis.

Witnesses told the news agency that the attackers demanded the hostages recite verses from the Quran and executed those who could not comply. Authorities have not commented on the Islamic State group’s claims of responsibility.

Update July 2, 2016, 8:40 a.m.:
At least 20 hostages were killed in Friday's attack on a restaurant in Bangladesh's capital of Dhaka, The Guardian reports. Additionally, two police officers and the six gunmen who stormed the popular café are also dead following the hours-long standoff.

Update July 2, 2016, 12:07 a.m.: Bangladeshi security forces stormed the restaurant Saturday morning, NBC News reports. Heavy explosions went off around 7:40 a.m. local time as the forces moved in, according to the Daily Star.

All the gunmen were killed in the raid, local police told NBC News. The police reportedly told a spokesperson for the Japanese ambassador that 12 hostages were rescued, two of whom were Japanese nationals.
Update July 1, 5:14 p.m.: The death toll in Friday's attack on a popular restaurant in the capital of Bangladesh has risen to include two police officers, according to The Guardian. At least 27 officers and one civilian have been reported injured.

The Islamic State terrorist network has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying in a posting on its internal news outlet that it targeted a restaurant "frequented by foreigners," the BBC reports.

This story was originally published on July 1, 2016 at 3:35 p.m.

A group of gunmen attacked a restaurant in the diplomatic center of Bangladesh's capital city Friday, taking patrons inside hostage.

The attack on Holey Artisan Bakery, a restaurant in Dhaka that is reportedly popular among diplomats and foreigners, happened at about 9:20 p.m. local time, The Guardian reported, citing local media. At least one policeman has been killed by gunfire as officials work to secure the release of hostages.

"We want to resolve this peacefully. We are trying to talk to the attackers," police Chief Benazir Ahmed said, according to the BBC. "Our first priority is to save the lives of the people trapped inside."

It is believed that some of the hostages are foreigners, The Associated Press reports. A spokesman for the U.S. State Department said all American citizens working under the diplomatic chief there have been accounted for.

The identities of the gunmen and motive behind the attack are not yet known. But the South Asian nation, situated on the eastern edge of India, has seen an uptick in violence in recent weeks, according to the AP.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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