Twenty foreign hostages were hacked to death with sharp weapons by Islamist terrorists during a dramatic siege at an upmarket Dhaka restaurant that ended in a bloodbath on Saturday morning.

The majority of the victims were from Italy and Japan. No Britons have yet been confirmed among the casualties.

At a press conference held after midday local time at the Bangladesh army headquarters, Brig-Gen Nayeen Ashtaq Chowdhury confirmed that 20 people were found killed using locally made sharp weapons, after police and military broke the siege with Operation Thunderbolt, which lasted from 7.40am to 8.30am.

Two Sri Lankans and one Japanese hostage were rescued, along with around a dozen Bangladeshis.

Two separate sources – a rescue worker and a paramilitary officer – told the Telegraph the victims had severe wounds to their necks and throats.

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