Holey Artisan: Looking back into the heart of terror

The attack on unsuspecting diners at Gulshan's Holey Artisan Bakery stunned the world and still stirs terror in the hearts of those who witnessed it unfold two years ago. The militants who attacked the restaurant were killed in a commando strike after a gruelling 12-hour siege. But, by then, 22 lives, including those of 17 foreigners, had been brutally ended. The deadly attack and its aftermath are revisited in these photos captured by bdnews24.com photojournalists.
  • Jul 1, 2016. The month of Ramadan was coming to an end. Gunfire was reported inside Dhaka's diplomatic district. As reporters rushed to the spot, they noticed a road block at Gulshan-2. Police personnel around it said something big is happening.

    Jul 1, 2016. The month of Ramadan was coming to an end. Gunfire was reported inside Dhaka's diplomatic district. As reporters rushed to the spot, they noticed a road block at Gulshan-2. Police personnel around it said something big is happening.

  • Security personnel took up positions at the entrance to Road-79. Holey Artisan Bakery and O' Kitchen is located at the end of the road.

    Security personnel took up positions at the entrance to Road-79. Holey Artisan Bakery and O' Kitchen is located at the end of the road.

  • Banani Police OC Salahuddin was hit by a grenade when he tried to enter into the restaurant. He succumbed to the splinter wounds in nearby United Hospital.

    Banani Police OC Salahuddin was hit by a grenade when he tried to enter into the restaurant. He succumbed to the splinter wounds in nearby United Hospital.

  • Detective Branch Assistant Commissioner Rabiul Islam also died from splinter wounds in that night.

    Detective Branch Assistant Commissioner Rabiul Islam also died from splinter wounds in that night.

  • The Rapid Action Battalion's bomb-disposal team arrived at the scene, but was unable to start operation during the night.

    The Rapid Action Battalion's bomb-disposal team arrived at the scene, but was unable to start operation during the night.

  • Navy para-commandos arrive around 3am, amid huge panic about what was happening inside.

    Navy para-commandos arrive around 3am, amid huge panic about what was happening inside.

  • Army commandos start Operation Thunderbolt to free the restaurant from the terror siege.

    Army commandos start Operation Thunderbolt to free the restaurant from the terror siege.

  • Soldiers drove to Road-79 in armoured vehicles. Snipers were already in position.

    Soldiers drove to Road-79 in armoured vehicles. Snipers were already in position.

  • Armoured vehicles enter Holey Artisan's green lawn after tearing down one side of the restaurant's boundary wall.

    Armoured vehicles enter Holey Artisan's green lawn after tearing down one side of the restaurant's boundary wall.

  • Relatives of people trapped inside the terror-hit restaurant were waiting near the police line. Parents of Hasnat Karim, later named as a suspect, are seen (second and third from left) in this photo.

    Relatives of people trapped inside the terror-hit restaurant were waiting near the police line. Parents of Hasnat Karim, later named as a suspect, are seen (second and third from left) in this photo.

  • A Japanese woman was seen among foreign nationals who waited outside. Of the café's 20 victims, seven were Japanese.

    A Japanese woman was seen among foreign nationals who waited outside. Of the café's 20 victims, seven were Japanese.

  • Relatives waited anxiously as bullet sounds were heard coming from the restaurant.

    Relatives waited anxiously as bullet sounds were heard coming from the restaurant.

  • Soldiers come out of Holey Artisan as their operation ends.

    Soldiers come out of Holey Artisan as their operation ends.

  • The battle ends. Army armoured vehicles return from ill-fated Holey.

    The battle ends. Army armoured vehicles return from ill-fated Holey.

  • The restaurant, once frequented by foreign diners and wealthy locals, was left in a devastated state.

    The restaurant, once frequented by foreign diners and wealthy locals, was left in a devastated state.

  • Body bags were lined up on Holey's much-loved green lawn.

    Body bags were lined up on Holey's much-loved green lawn.

  • Brig Gen Nayeem Ashfaque Chowdhury, director of military operations at Bangladesh Army, briefed the media, officially confirming the deaths of 20 people.

    Brig Gen Nayeem Ashfaque Chowdhury, director of military operations at Bangladesh Army, briefed the media, officially confirming the deaths of 20 people.

  • Jul 3, 2016. Police surrounded the restaurant as people gathered around their blockade.

    Jul 3, 2016. Police surrounded the restaurant as people gathered around their blockade.

  • Mourners left flowers and candles near a police barricade, creating a makeshift memorial.

    Mourners left flowers and candles near a police barricade, creating a makeshift memorial.

  • Mourners left flowers and candles near a police barricade, creating a makeshift memorial.

    Mourners left flowers and candles near a police barricade, creating a makeshift memorial.

  • Holey Artisan Bakery two days after the attack.

    Holey Artisan Bakery two days after the attack.

  • Candles were lit for the victims during a gathering organised at Central Shaheed Minar by Sammilito Sangskritik Jote on Jul 3.

    Candles were lit for the victims during a gathering organised at Central Shaheed Minar by Sammilito Sangskritik Jote on Jul 3.

  • The national flag was lowered after the government announced two days of national mourning for those killed inside Holey Artisan.

    The national flag was lowered after the government announced two days of national mourning for those killed inside Holey Artisan.

  • People pay tribute to victims in a public ceremony at Dhaka's Army Stadium.

    People pay tribute to victims in a public ceremony at Dhaka's Army Stadium.

  • Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina places flowers before coffins of the three Bangladeshi victims at Dhaka's Army Stadium.

    Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina places flowers before coffins of the three Bangladeshi victims at Dhaka's Army Stadium.

  • Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina consoles Italian Ambassador Mario Palma at Dhaka's Army Stadium. Of the 20 butchered inside Holey, nine were Italians.

    Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina consoles Italian Ambassador Mario Palma at Dhaka's Army Stadium. Of the 20 butchered inside Holey, nine were Italians.

  • The prime minister speaks to family members of the three Bangladeshi victims.

    The prime minister speaks to family members of the three Bangladeshi victims.

  • Family members of the attack's three Bangladeshi victims stand before their coffins.

    Family members of the attack's three Bangladeshi victims stand before their coffins.

  • Italy's Deputy Foreign Minister Mario Giro visits Holey Artisan with his Bangladesh counterpart, Shahriar Alam, on Jul 5.

    Italy's Deputy Foreign Minister Mario Giro visits Holey Artisan with his Bangladesh counterpart, Shahriar Alam, on Jul 5.

  • Holey Artisan reopens in a smaller, but more fortified location six months after the massacre. The eatery is now located inside the Rangs Arcade building on Gulshan Avenue.

    Holey Artisan reopens in a smaller, but more fortified location six months after the massacre. The eatery is now located inside the Rangs Arcade building on Gulshan Avenue.

  • Despite being at the centre of Bangladesh's worst terror attack, Holey's old address at Road-79 has been undergoing renovations for the owners who plan to move into the house.

    Despite being at the centre of Bangladesh's worst terror attack, Holey's old address at Road-79 has been undergoing renovations for the owners who plan to move into the house.

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