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20 foreigners killed with sharp weapons in Dhaka hostage siege

Gorkha Post

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DHAKA — Armed militants have killed 20foreigners in the wake of taking them hostage in a Bangladesh cafe, with many of the victims hacked to death before police stormed the building rescuing 13 others, officials say.

“We`ve recovered 20 bodies. Most them had been brutally hacked to death with sharp weapons,” Brigadier General Nayeem Ashfaq Chowdhury tells reporters in Dhaka, without giving the nationality of the victims.

Thirteen survivors were rescued at the end of the siege in an upmarket neighbourhood of the capital Dhaka, including three foreigners. “Three of those who were rescued were foreigners, including one Japanese and two Sri Lankans,” says Brigadier Chowdhury.

“Most of [the hostages] were killed mercilessly by sharp weapons last night,” before the siege began, Brigadier Chowdhury said.

Six gunmen were also killed during the police operation and one was captured, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in a TV broadcast.

The army concluded an operation to clear the cafe on Saturday after a 12-hour siege that began when gunmen stormed the restaurant on Friday, which was popular with foreigners.

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New govt likely to have 18 ministers

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KATHMANDU — The new government is likely to have 15 to 18 ministries in total as Prime mInister KP Sharma Oli is preparing to give his cabinet a full shape.

As per discussion between Prime Minister Oli and CPN-Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the government may include Madhes-based parties to make the government inclusive and have two-thirds majority in the Parliament.

According to Article 76 (9) of the constitution, the number of ministers cannot exceed 25 in the federal Cabinet. With the new constitution limiting the size of Council of Ministers to 25, the new governing team could be limited to 18 members including three state ministers. A formal decision on the matter is yet to be taken.

Speaking at a program organised in Kathmandu on Tuesday, UML leader Pradeep said: “Cabinet expansion is likely to take place on Wednesday. A few Maoist ministers will be joining the Oli government.”

“Our taskforce has recommended that the government form a 15-member Cabinet. Some of the ministries will be integrated and others scrapped.”

ALSO READ :  PM Dahal inducts 4 new ministers

Ishwor Pokhrel, Pradeep Gyawali, Rabindra Adhikari, Raghubir Mahaseth, Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal and Padma Aryal are the probable ministerial candidates from the UML.

Like3wise, Maoist chair Dahal and senior CPN-MC leaders Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Ram Bahadur Thapa have been given the responsibility of selecting ministers from their party.

Probable ministerial candidates from the Maoist Centre include Ram Bahadur Thapa, Matrika Yadav, Pampha Bhusal, Devendra Poudel, Lekhraj Bhatta, Chakrapani Khanal, Pun, Girirajmani Pokhrel and Dev Gurung, according to the sources.

Thapa may lead the CPN-MC in the government as deputy prime minister. Yadav is being considered for appointment since he represents Madhes, Bhusal as a woman while Poudel is one of the leaders who joined the party lately. Poudel had left the Baburam Bhattarai-led Naya Shakti Party to join the Maoist Centre just ahead of unification talks with the UML.

Leaders involved in discussions said the Maoist Centre could appoint up to eight ministers if the Cabinet size does not exceed 18.

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