Bangladeshi troops say they have cleared a cafe in the capital Dhaka, where gunmen on Friday took at least 20 hostages, including foreigners.

 

They say 13 hostages, including four foreigners, were rescued and six attackers shot dead. However, the fate of other captives remains unclear.

 

Several of those held at the Holey Artisan Bakery cafe were believed to be Italian, and some may be Japanese.

 

The militant group Islamic State (IS) has said it carried out the attack.

 

Tuhin Mohammad Masud, a commander of the elite Rapid Action Battalion, said: "We have gunned down at least six terrorists and the main building is cleared but the operation is still going on."

 

Explosions and heavy gunfire were earlier heard, as the army and navy commandos stormed the cafe in the morning. They were backed by police and paramilitary Border Guards Bangladesh, officials told the BBC.

 

Armoured vehicles were also seen moving in the Gulshan neighbourhood.

 

The gunfire stopped after about an hour.

 

The identity of the rescued hostages and the fate of other captives believed to have been in the cafe was not immediately known.

 

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