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Bangladesh clears Canadian of restaurant attack charges

October 05, 2016 - 2:51 AM

NEW DELHI - A court in Bangladesh cleared a Canadian university student Wednesday of all allegations related to a restaurant siege three months ago in which 20 hostages were killed.

Metropolitan Magistrate Nur Nabi handed down the order after investigators said there was no evidence connecting Tahmid Hasib Khan, a 22-year-old undergraduate at the University of Toronto, to the July 1 attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh's capital.

Prosecutor Abdullah Abu said Khan was cleared of all suspicion that he was involved in the bloody attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery in the city's posh diplomatic zone.

Khan, freed on bail Sunday, was never charged by police but was held as he was being interrogated.

His family could not be contacted immediately for comment.

Abu, however, said that Khan would face charges for not co-operating with authorities in the aftermath of the attack. If convicted, he could face a month of jail time and a cash fine, according to Bangladeshi law.

Khan was interrogated for more than two weeks by police and denied bail since his arrest in late August.

Khan, who is of Bangladeshi origin, had travelled to Dhaka a day before the attacks with plans to travel to Nepal on an internship.

British citizen Hasnat Karim continues to be a key suspect in the attack and is still under arrest. He was also arrested in late August and has not been formally charged.

At least five Islamist militants were part of the bloody siege, which lasted nearly 12 hours.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, but authorities have blamed the local militant group Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh. All five attackers were killed by commandos.

The attackers, all young men, stormed the upscale restaurant when diners, including many foreigners, were inside. The attackers used grenades, firearms and sharp weapons to kill the hostages, who included nine Italians, seven Japanese and one Indian.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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