Bangladesh is observing the 3rd anniversary of the Holey Artisan cafe attack, the deadliest militant attack in the country's history which claimed 22 lives in 2016.
Relatives and those close to the victims at home and abroad are observing the day, recalling their memories and paying respects to them on Monday.
Five armed militants carried out the attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery at Gulshan in the evening of July 1, 2016. They initially took the people inside the cafeacute; hostage before killing many of them.
The victims included nine Italians, seven Japanese, one Indian, one Bangladesh-born American and two Bangladeshis.
Besides, two police officers were also killed during the attack.
Thirteen people, including three foreigners, were rescued while 20 bodies of the hostages were recovered from the restaurant after a successful operation led by the 1st Para-commando Battalion, an elite force in the Bangladesh Army, the following morning (July 2). Five militants and one restaurant staff were killed and one suspected militant was arrested during the drive.
The night-long massacre at Holey Artisan Bakery
Five heavily armed militants took hostages and opened fire on the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka's Gulshan diplomatic zone at around 9pm on July 1 in 2016.
The assailants entered into the bakery with crude bombs, machetes, pistols, and took several dozen hostages including foreigners. In the immediate response Dhaka Metropolitan Police tried to regain control of the bakery and two police officers were shot dead by the assailants.
As the police were unsuccessful in breaching the bakery and securing the hostages, they set up a perimeter along with the Rapid Action Battalion and Border Guards Bangladesh.
Later on early hours of 2 July, it was decided that the Bangladesh Armed Forces would launch a counter assault named Operation Thunderbolt. The assault was led by the 1st Para-commando Battalion, an elite force in the Bangladesh Army, and began their raid at 07:40am.
Nine Italians, seven Japanese, two Bangladeshis, one Indian and one Bangladesh-born US citizen were found slaughtered inside the bakery.
According to the police, all of the attackers were Bangladeshi citizens. They were identified as Nibras Islam, Rohan Imtiaz, Meer Saameh Mubasheer, Khairul Islam Payel and Shafiqul Islam Uzzal.
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack and released photographs of the gunmen, but the home minister of Bangladesh, Asaduzzaman Khan, stated that the perpetrators belonged to Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen and were not affiliated with ISIL.
The incident was the worst terrorist attack in Bangladesh's history.