Briton, student arrested over deadly Bangladesh cafe siege

DHAKA • A British national and a student at a Canadian university have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in last month's deadly siege at a cafe in Bangladesh's capital, police said yesterday.

Hasnat Karim, a British citizen of Bangladeshi origin, and Tahmid Khan, a student at the University of Toronto, were detained on Wednesday night, said a police spokesman.

"We can confirm that they were arrested under Section 54," the spokesman said, referring to a law under which police can detain someone for suspicion over any crime.

Karim and Khan were both inside the Holey Artisan cafe when gunmen raided the premises on the night of July 1, taking a group of mainly Western diners hostage and then killing 20 of them, along with two policemen.

Reports in local media said Khan was seen holding a firearm and Karim strolling with the attackers.

The 47-year-old Karim was a lecturer at Bangladesh's private North-South University in Dhaka, which was the alma mater of two of the five attackers who were gunned down at the end of the siege.

The 22-year-old Khan, who is a Bangladeshi citizen, was on leave from his university in Canada.

Police earlier this week named a Canadian citizen called Tamim Chowdhury as the mastermind of the attack, offering a reward of up to US$25,000 (S$33,600) for any information leading to his arrest.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 05, 2016, with the headline 'Briton, student arrested over deadly Bangladesh cafe siege'. Print Edition | Subscribe