The long-awaited verdict of the Bangladesh hostage crisis in 2016 that took the lives of 22 people, including 18 foreigners, will be passed in a Dhaka court on Wednesday.
The attack, which took place in the evening of July 1, 2016 at a cafe in an upmarket neighbourhood in Bangladesh’s capital, was claimed by the Islamic State and remains to be the worst militant attack in the country.
The casualties included nine Italians, seven Japanese, an American and an Indian.
The following morning, after a 12-hour siege, police stormed the building and rescued 13 hostages. Family members and friends of the victims had gathered outside the attack site, waiting for news.
Police have killed about 50 suspected militants in shootouts since the attack, including the man they say was its main planner, Bangladesh-born Canadian citizen Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury.
They said they suspect the involvement of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), an outlawed domestic group that has pledged allegiance to Islamic State.
The government has dismissed the claims by Islamic State and Al Qaeda for a series of killing of liberals and members of religious minorities in the country over the past year and instead blamed domestic militant groups.
But security experts say the scale and sophistication of the cafe assault suggested links to a trans-national network.