Owner to turn Holey Artisan restaurant into his own residence
15 November 2016, Nirapad News: The owner of the Bangladeshi restaurant where Islamist extremists killed 22 hostages, mostly foreigners, said Tuesday he would turn the building into a home for his family and reopen the eatery elsewhere.
Police have handed the Holey Artisan Bakery back to its owners after completing a four-month investigation into the siege by extremists linked to the Islamic State group.
“Police have handed over the place to us on Sunday. They’ve cleaned up the debris. We’re now going to turn it into a residential home where we’ll live,” owner Sadat Mehdi told AFP.
Mehdi, who lost five friends in the attack, said he wanted to send a message that “we are not defined by terror”.
The Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka’s upscale Gulshan neighbourhood was popular with expats and the city’s wealthy.
Japanese and Italian diners were among the 18 foreigners shot and hacked to death in the July attack.
Mehdi said he would open two new outlets in other parts of the city.
The Bakery attack capped a three-year long campaign of murders by Islamist extremists whose targets included foreigners, rights activists and members of religious minorities.
Bangladesh authorities have blamed a local Islamist extremist group for the cafe attack, rejecting claims by the IS that it was behind the carnage.
The siege went on for 10 hours before Bangladesh military commandoes using armoured vehicles stormed the compound to bring it to an end.
Since the deadly assault, security forces have killed at least 40 Islamist militants including a Bangladeshi-origin Canadian who police described as the mastermind of the attack.