Dhaka attack: Gunmen were from Bangladesh group, not IS, says minister

  • AFP, Dhaka
  • Updated: Jul 03, 2016 17:27 IST
Bangladeshi policemen patrol the area around the site of an attack in Dhaka. (AP)

The jihadists who killed 20 hostages at a Dhaka restaurant were members of a homegrown Bangladeshi militant outfit and not followers of the Islamic State group, a senior minister said Sunday.

“They are members of the Jamaeytul Mujahdeen Bangladesh,” home minister Asaduzzaman Khan told AFP, referring to a group which has been banned in Bangladesh for more than a decade.

“They have no connections with the Islamic State.”

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the killing of the hostages and two police officers during an 11-hour siege that ended on Saturday but the government has consistently denied that international jihadist groups are operating in Bangladesh.

Read| Dhaka attack: Bangladesh may be confronting a more fearsome militant foe

Police have released the names and photos of six of the attackers who were shot at the end of the siege. A seventh was arrested and is being interrogated by Bangladeshi intelligence officers.

Khan said that all of the attackers were well-educated and most came from wealthy families.

“They are all highly educated young men and went to university. No one is from a madrassa,” the minister said.

Asked why they would have become Islamist militants, Khan said: “It has become a fashion.”

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