On 1st July night about quarter to nine, few miscreants forcibly entered Holy Artisan Bakery and took hostage of all the persons in the restaurant. Soon after the incident, within the shortest possible reaction time; members of Police, RAB and BGB reached the venue and tried to take the control of the situation. In order to refrain them from doing such, the miscreants fired upon them and threw grenades. During this process more than 20 members of law enforcing agencies got injured. Out of those, two Police Officers died in the hospital. Law enforcing agencies cordoned the area and offered them to surrender through hand mike. Simultaneously, efforts were on to establish contact with the miscreants for negotiation.
During the process specially trained, Counter Terrorism qualified Army personnel along with other related elements of Army started taking preparation for their likely employment. The Counter Terrorism elements are specially trained “Para Commandoes” who are trained and equipped to deal with specialized situations. They are trained both at home and abroad. They regularly conduct different situational exercises with friendly nations.
Honourable Prime Minister of Peoples Republic of Bangladesh ordered Bangladesh Army to rescue the Hostages through Military Operations. Following the order, Army planned and launched operation “Thunder Bolt”. The operation was led by Bangladesh Army and assisted by Navy, Air Force, BGB, Police and RAB.
Specially trained Army Commandoes launched the operation at 0740 hours in the morning of 02 July. Within roughly about 12-13 minutes the elite anti-terrorist elements could neutralize the miscreants and took control of the target area. After a thorough search, the operation ended at 0830 hours.
In the operation, 13 persons including three foreigners (1x Japanese and 2xSrilankan) were rescued alive. Out of seven miscreants 6 were killed in the operation and one suspect was apprehended. He is under custody of the law enforcing agencies; on completion of necessary investigation his extent of involvement is likely to be unearthed. Besides, during the search 20 dead bodies were recovered who were killed over night. Most of them were brutally killed with sharp objects. The post-mortem of the dead bodies is being carried out at Dhaka Combined Military Hospital following normal procedure. Amongst dead there are seven Japanese, nine Italian, one Indian and three Bangladeshi Nationals (including one Bangladeshi-American). During the operation; pistols, folded butt AK 22, un-exploded IEDs and few local weapons were recovered. None of the members of the Elite Commandoes was injured in the operation. Out of the rescued foreigners, two Sri Lankans are being treated in Combined Military Hospital and presently in good health condition with no major injury. The Japanese citizen who sustained injury is being treated in the same hospital and recovering well.
During the whole episode, 2 Police officers embraced martyrdom. Members of Bangladesh Army, Navy, Air Force, BGB, Police, RAB and Fire Service participated bravely in this operation. With the combined effort of all concerned and a very well knitted plan success could be achieved very quickly with no collateral damage and casualty. The timely firm, brave and correct direction of Honourable Prime Minister was the key element of success of this operation. The investigation is still on. Greater details of the incident will be known on completion of the same. Nation deeply mourn for the departed souls. May all of them rest in peace and may He give the bereaved families the strength to withstand this irrecoverable loss.