By Serajul Quadir DHAKA (Reuters) - Islamist militants shouting "Allahu Akbar" attacked an upscale cafe in the Bangladeshi capital, killing 20 foreigners inside, before police stormed the building on Saturday and rescued 13 hostages, officials said. The attack, claimed by Islamic State, marks a major escalation in a campaign by militants over the past 18 months that had targeted mostly individuals advocating a secular or liberal lifestyle in mostly Muslim Bangladesh. Six gunmen were killed during the police operation and one was captured, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in a TV broadcast.
A group of hostage-takers murdered 20 foreigners, hacking many of their victims to death, before six attackers were gunned down by Bangladesh commandos at the end of an overnight siege Saturday at an upmarket restaurant. As the Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the carnage at the start of the Eid holiday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said she was determined to eradicate militancy in the mainly Muslim nation. Survivors told of how the hostage-takers separated locals from the foreigners who were eating side-by-side before embarking on a killing spree which was brought to an end 11 hours later in a fierce gunbattle.