UPDATE: National holiday declared to mourn Dhaka victims attack

Terver Dominic, Lagos

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina has announced a two-day national holiday to mourn the dead victims of the Cafe attack in Dhaka.

The attack which left 28 people dead, including 20 hostages, who were killed with sharp weapons.

In an address to the nation she called for unity against criminal elements following the attack in the diplomatic quarter of the Bangladesh’s capital in which six militants and two police officers were also killed.

Thirteen people were rescued after more than 100 Bangladeshi commandos stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery early on Saturday after the 12-hour siege

I request everyone to unite against these handful criminals,” said Hasina.

She earlier said one of the gunmen had been captured alive in the dawn raid.

Lieutenant Colonel Rashidul Hasan told reporters that “the identities of the 20 dead bodies were still being identified”.

Brig General Nayeem Ashfaque Chowdhury said: “The terrorists killed the civilians last night. We have recovered huge cache of IED explosives and AK-22 assault rifles”.

The deceased had been moved to the combined military hospital in Dhaka for post-mortem examinations”, he added.

Lt Col Tuhin Mohammad Masud, the officer in charge of Bangladeshi commandos, said that the rescued hostages included a Japanese citizen, who was injured, and two Sri Lankans.

He also said there were casualties among other hostages but did not provide details. Earlier reports had said seven Italians were among those taken hostage at the cafe, which is popular with foreigners.

A police officer at the scene said that when security forces tried to enter the premises at the beginning of the siege they were met with a hail of bullets and grenades.

Television footage showed a number of police being led away from the site with blood on their faces and clothes. Heavily armed officers were seen standing on the street outside.