DHAKA – The restaurant in Dhaka, which was attacked by jihadists on July 1 in which 22 people were killed, including 17 foreign hostages, has reopened its doors at a new location, one of the owners told EFE on Wednesday.
The new Holey Artisan Bakery and O’Kitchen restaurant is located just a kilometer from where the original restaurant was, Sadat Mehedi said.
“We had a good number of customers visiting us in our new location on the first day of re-launching. They included some foreign customers, who encouraged us and praised our courage,” he said.
The new restaurant will focus more on the bakery and less on Mediterranean cuisine, which the earlier restaurant was known for.
The two Argentine chefs behind the famous Mediterranean cuisine will not be a part of the new project, although the rest of the staff remains the same.
In November, after a court order, Mehedi was able to return to the building of the old restaurant, which had been cordoned off by the police since the attack.
The old building will now be converted into a house and into a memorial for the victims sometime in the future.
On July 1, during the end of the month of Ramadan, five jihadists belonging to a group who pledged loyalty to the Islamic State entered the restaurant and killed 9 Italians, 7 Japanese and an Indian national, after torturing them when they failed to recite the Quran.
The attack, considered one of the bloodiest attacks in the history of Bangladesh, lasted 12 hours and ended after security forces intervened, killing four of the terrorists, all believed to be between 20-30 years of age, and capturing the fifth alive.
However, the Bangladeshi government has denied the presence of Islamic State in the country and attributed the attack to a faction of the local extremist group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh.
Bangladesh, which has a population of 160 million, mostly Muslims, has been witnessing a spate of jihadist killings that have claimed over 70 lives since 2013, including bloggers, secular thinkers, members of religious minorities and foreigners.