A Bangladesh court has released on bail a Canadian university student arrested on suspicion of involvement in a bloody attack on a restaurant that left 20 hostages dead in the country’s capital three months ago, officials said Monday.
Jail official Jahangir Kabir said Tahmid Hasib Khan, 22, was released late Sunday after a magistrate accepted his appeal for bail. Police had filed documents with the court saying they did not oppose bail as investigators had found no evidence against Khan. The July 1 attack on the restaurant in Dhaka by at least five Islamist militants stunned the country.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack but authorities have blamed local militant group Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh. All five attackers were killed by commandos.
Khan was interrogated for more than two weeks by the police and has been denied bail to he could be kept in custody for further questioning.
Khan’s family could not be immediately reached for comment.
Khan, an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, had travelled to Dhaka a day before the attacks with plans to travel to Nepal on an internship.
The Islamist militants, all young men, stormed the upscale restaurant in Dhaka’s diplomatic enclave when diners, including many foreigners, were inside. The attackers used grenades, firearms and sharp weapons to kill the hostages including nine Italians, seven Japanese and one Indian. Another man, Hasnat Karim, a British citizen of Bangladeshi origin, is still being held in jail.
Investigators have accused Karim of being one of the masterminds of the attack on the cafe.
Karim had lived in Brtiain for nearly 20 years and returned to Bangladesh a few years ago to teach at Dhaka’s North South University. He then was investigated for his alleged involvement with a banned group, Hizbut Tahrir, and left the university in 2012 and became a businessman.
One of the attackers was his former student, and photographs published by several newspapers show Karim smoking on the rooftop of the restaurant while two attackers can be seen behind him.