Bangladesh Crackdown
Bangladesh CrackdownReuters

Suspected Islamist gunmen killed 20 foreign nationals, including an Indian girl, in a cafe in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Friday night. The police reached the spot later and rescued 13 hostages, including an Indian.

The Minister of External Affairs of India, Sushma Swaraj, said in a series of tweets: "I am extremely pained to share that the terrorists have killed Tarushi, an Indian girl who was taken hostage in the terror attack in Dhaka. I have spoken to her father Shri Sanjeev Jain and conveyed our deepest condolences.The country is with them in this hour of grief."

According to Reuters, the 12-hour siege led to the death of six gunmen, while one was captured. Two police officers were also killed during the siege.

Besides Tarushi, the 20 people who died include 8 Italians, some Japanese and South Koreans and some Bangladeshis, ANI tweeted.

An Indian, an Italian, a Japanese, two Sri Lankans and seven Bangladeshis were among the 13 hostages rescued, ANI said in a tweet.

The spokesperson from the Japanese government was quoted by the agency as saying that the rescued Japanese person was taken to a hospital in Dhaka with a gunshot wound, while the condition of seven others is not known yet.

Mario Palma, Italy's ambassador to Bangladesh, told Italian state TV that hostages included seven Italians.

"Most of (the hostages) were killed mercilessly by sharp weapons last night," Army Brigadier General Naim Asraf Chowdhury was quoted by the agency as saying.

The siege began as people gathered to break their fast during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, BBC reported.

"It was an extremely heinous act... What kind of Muslims are these people? They don't have any religion... My government is determined to root out terrorism and militancy from Bangladesh," Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was quoted by the channel as saying.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also condemned the attack and said in a series of tweets: "The attack in Dhaka has pained us beyond words. I spoke to PM Sheikh Hasina & strongly condemned the despicable attack. India stands firmly with our sisters & brothers of Bangladesh in this hour of grief. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. I pray that those who are injured recover quickly."

The attackers tortured those who couldn't recite the Koran, while providing meals overnight for Bangladeshi hostages only, BBC reported citing the country's Daily Star newspaper.

At least 24 policemen were reportedly injured in the attack.

The Islamic State group, through its news agency Amaq, has claimed responsibility for the attack. 

The area of the attack houses several diplomatic missions. The eatery attacked by the gunmen is said to be the Holey Artisan Bakery.