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‘Those who could recite Quranic verses spared’

Hasnat Karim, his wife Sharmin Karim and daughters Safa, 13, and Rayan, 8, were celebrating Safa’s birthday at the Holey Artisan Bakery in Gulshan diplomatic zone when gunmen stormed the cafe. “They (gunmen) did not behave rough with the Bangladesh nationals,” said Rezaul Karim, father of Hasnat.“Rather they provided night meals for all Bangladeshis.”

“The gunmen were doing a background check on religion by asking everyone to recite from the Quran. Those who could recite a verse or two were spared. The others were tortured.”  The militants slaughtered 20 hostages. Most of those killed were found with their throat slit.

The family along with others was finally rescued after a joint operation by the military, paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh, police and elite force Rapid Action Battalion Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, the family was rushed to Detective Branch office for further interrogation, according to Hosne Ara, the mother of Hasnar. “We have been assured that they will be sent home safely.” 

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