Bangladesh will mark the fourth anniversary of the country's worst terrorist attack at a café in Dhaka's Gulshan Wednesday as the families of the victims are waiting for the execution of the verdict.
On November 27 last year, an Anti-terrorism Special Tribunal in Dhaka sentenced seven militants of the banned Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) to death and acquitted one in a case filed over the attack.
Twenty-two people were killed after gunmen stormed the upmarket Holey Artisan Bakery at Gulshan area on July 1, 2016, in an attack that drew global condemnation. The victims included 17 foreigners.
The café carnage case is now pending with the High Court for death references and appeal hearing since a Dhaka court in November last year delivered the verdict.
The tribunal Public Prosecutor Golam Sharuar Khan said that they have sent all the case documents to the High Court on the first week of last December.
In the meantime, relatives and those close to the victims at home and abroad will observe the day by paying respects to them on this day.
Though the house where the bakery was had been opened for public on the anniversary to pay tribute to the victims, the arrangement this year has been cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic.
On July 1, 2016, the assailants entered the bakery — which was popular with foreigners — armed with crude bombs, machetes and pistols, and took several dozen hostages.
Security forces stormed the cafe to break the 12-hour siege during which ISIS, which claimed the attack, posted photos of what it said were dead foreign hostages.
An investigation by the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) found that a group of local fighters had prepared for at least six months before carrying out the deadliest attack in the history of Bangladesh.
The CTTC officials said the eight accused in the case were directly involved with five gunmen -- Nibrash Islam, Mir Sabeh Mubashir, Rohan Imtiaz, Khairul Islam Payel and Shafiqul Islam Uzzal -- who were killed during the operation launched to free the hostages, known as "Operation Thunderbolt".
The seven convicts facing the gallows are: Hadisur Rahman, Rakibul Hasan Regan, Aslam Hossain Rash, Md Abdus Sabur Khan, Shariful Islam Khaled, Mamunur Rashid Ripon and Jahangir Hossain.
Another accused, Mizanur Rahman, was acquitted as allegations brought against him could not be proved. Since the attack, law enforcers have led a fatal crackdown on militants in the country.