Forensic expert says Dhaka cafe victims were hacked and shot dead

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Dhaka, July 7 (IANS) A three-member team of Dhaka Medical College Hospital’s forensic department has dismissed reports that all the 20 hostages killed in the cafe terror attack were slaughtered by slitting their throats.

Dhaka Medical College Hospital forensic department’s Assistant Professor Md Sohel Mahmud, led a three-member team to conduct the autopsies at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) on Sunday, reported

“All the deceased had sharp weapon wounds on their heads and necks. Some were hacked on their throats too,” said Mahmud.

“But most of the foreign hostages were hacked to death. Bullets were found on the bodies of seven foreigners, who were also hacked in their head and neck,” added Mahmud.

“One of the Italian nationals and one of the Bangladeshi women had died from trauma caused by a blunt force,” he said.

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On last Friday evening, a group of seven young Islamist terrorists carrying guns and explosives entered the Holey Artisan Bakery and O’ Kitchen Restaurant in Gulshan diplomatic enclave and took at least 33 people hostages, of which they brutally killed 20 through the night.

Two police officers, who were members of a team that made an early attempt to end the siege, were killed by explosions set off by the attackers.

The security forces launched a rescue operation codenamed ‘Operation Thunderbolt’ on Saturday morning and freed 13 hostages.

The 20 killed hostages included nine Italians, seven Japanese, one Indian and three Bangladeshis, one of whom was also a naturalised US citizen.

The Bangladeshi army and the government had said that six terrorists were killed and another was captured alive.

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Police on Monday midnight filed a case naming six dead attackers and several unidentified persons. One of the terrorists has been identified as Holey Artisan Bakery chef Saiful Islam Chowkider.

“Saiful was seen with the group of militants,” said police.

Forensic expert Mahmud said that bullets were found in the bodies of the six attackers. Splinters of explosives were also found in the bodies of three of them.

Mahmud added that blood for viscera test and teeth and flesh from the bodies of the slain terrorists were collected and sent for Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid (DNA) test on Wednesday.

“We’ve collected the samples to determine whether the young Islamic terrorists had taken something to stimulate excitement before carrying out the attack,” he said.

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