Accessibility links

2 Arrested in Connection with Bangladesh Restaurant Attack 

  • VOA News

British national Hasnat Karim, center left, and University of Toronto student Tahmid Hasib Khan, center right, are taken before court in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Aug. 4, 2016.

British national Hasnat Karim, center left, and University of Toronto student Tahmid Hasib Khan, center right, are taken before court in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Aug. 4, 2016.

Police in Bangladesh say two men who were dining at a Dhaka restaurant when it was attacked last month were arrested Thursday on allegations they were involved in the attack.

Police say British national Hasnat Karim and University of Toronto student Tahmid Khan were arrested in Dhaka late Wednesday. A court has remanded them in custody for eight days.

The two men were inside the Holey Artisan Bakery on the night of July 1 when five armed gunmen stormed the building, killing 20 people and taking others hostage.

People help an unidentified injured person after a group of gunmen attacked a restaurant popular with foreigners in a diplomatic zone of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, Bangladesh, July 1, 2016.

People help an unidentified injured person after a group of gunmen attacked a restaurant popular with foreigners in a diplomatic zone of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, Bangladesh, July 1, 2016.

Neither was seen after the attack despite appeals from their family who said authorities were holding them.

Police at the time denied they were in their custody before announcing the arrest.

Relatives say Karim, 47, and his family were at the cafe celebrating his daughter's 13th birthday when the attack took place.

"He had no links to any terrorist group," said Karim's London-based lawyer, Rodney Dixon in a statement.

"There is clearly no evidence to charge him and he should be released without further delay."

Karim, a businessman, had previously taught at a private university in Dhaka where two of the attackers studied.

Local media say there was a video of Karim smoking on the rooftop with two of the attackers.

Meanwhile, Khan, 22, a student at University of Toronto had just returned to Bangladesh during a break.

Earlier this week, police identified the attack's mastermind as Canadian citizen Tamim Chowdhury.

Authorities say they are investigating whether Chowdhury has links to Islamic State which has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Some material for this report came from AP.

XS
SM
MD
LG