Three U.S. college students were among the 20 hostages and 6 gunman killed in the 11-hour Bangladesh hostage siege that began on Friday night when a squad of ISIS gunmen attacked the upscale Holey Artisan Bakery in the nation’s capital of Dhaka.
The assault ended early Saturday when Bangladeshi troops stormed the scene killing the six attackers and rescuing 13 hostages.
Georgia’s Emory University said two of those killed were associated with the college’s Oxford College campus.
One, Abinta Kabir, was an undergraduate student from Miami, Florida. She was in Dhaka, visiting family and friends.
Another, Dhaka native Faraaz Houssain, was a 2016 graduate of Oxford College and a student at Emory’s Goizueta Business School.
“The Emory community mourns this tragic and senseless loss of two members of our university family,” the University said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers go out on behalf of Faraaz and Abinta and their families and friends for strength and peace at this unspeakably sad time.”
University of California at Berkeley student Tarushi Jain has also been identified among the victims reports CNN. The 19-year-old Indian citizen was mourned by India’s minister of external affairs Sushma Swara.
Many of those killed were foreigners, according to The New York Times. It’s the deadliest attack by ISIS militants in the South Asian nation, where their presence has been growing alarmingly in recent months.
Thirteen hostages were rescued, The Wall Street Journal reports. A seventh attacker was arrested. The identities and nationalities of the attackers have not yet been released.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the assault through its media branch, Amaq, the BBC reports, releasing photos from inside the restaurant. The initial strike on Friday night left 2 officers dead and at least 30 people wounded.
Italy’s Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said at least nine of the dead were Italian nationals, reports CNN. They were: Adele Puglisi, Marco Tondat, Claudia Maria D’Antona, Nadia Benedetti, Vincenzo D’Allestro, Maria Rivoli, Cristian Rossi, Claudio Cappelli, and Simona Monti.
One Japanese national and two Sri Lankans were among the hostages rescued, officials from both nations told the news network. Seven of the Japanese national’s colleagues who were at the establishment are still missing.
According to a military spokesman, attackers used sharp weapons to “ferociously” attack the victims, the Times reports. “A kitchen worker who had escaped said the attackers were armed with pistols, swords and bombs,” they say.
Bangladesh’s Daily Star newspaper reports the gunmen tortured those hostages who were unable to recite the Koran, and only provided meals overnight for captives who were Bangladeshi.