Wednesday 28 September 2016

Bodies of seven Japanese killed in Bangladesh terrorist attack return home

Published 05/07/2016 | 06:28

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, third left, with other officials, bows in front of the coffins of the victims who were killed in the last weekend's attack on a restaurant in Bangladeshi capital Dhaka (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, third left, with other officials, bows in front of the coffins of the victims who were killed in the last weekend's attack on a restaurant in Bangladeshi capital Dhaka (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
CORRECTS THE DATE OF THE ATTACK - Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, left, lays flowers on the coffins of the victims who were killed in the last weekend's attack on a restaurant in Bangladeshi capital Dhaka (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

The bodies of seven Japanese consultants killed in a militant attack on a restaurant in Bangladesh returned to home soil early on Tuesday morning.

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A Japanese government plane, which had brought family members and government officials to Bangladesh to retrieve the victims, touched down at 6.50am local time at Tokyo's Haneda Airport.

The bodies, in boxes covered with white cloth, were lowered slowly in pairs from the high cargo bay of the 747, and lined up on four wheeled cargo pallets on the tarmac.

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Bangladesh Ambassador Rabab Fatima and other officials laid bouquets of flowers in between the boxes.

Mr Kishida said the cruel act of terrorism had taken precious lives, telling reporters he felt deep sorrow and indignation.

Read more: Nine Italians and seven Japanese killed in Islamic attack on popular Dhaka restaurant

A security personnel reacts near the Holey Artisan restaurant after gunmen attacked the upscale cafe, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. REUTERS/Mohammd Ponir Hossain
A security personnel reacts near the Holey Artisan restaurant after gunmen attacked the upscale cafe, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. REUTERS/Mohammd Ponir Hossain
People help an unidentified injured person after a group of gunmen attacked a restaurant popular with foreigners in a diplomatic zone of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, Bangladesh. (AP Photo)
Hosne Ara Karim, whose son and daughter-in-law were rescued from the restaurant that was attacked by heavily armed militants, wait for them in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (AP Photo)

The five men and two women were among 20 hostages who died in an overnight siege that ended on Saturday morning at a restaurant popular with foreigners in Dhaka, the capital city. They were private consultants working on a Japanese government development project in Bangladesh.

Their bodies were taken to a hospital for post-mortems.

Separately, the one Japanese survivor of the attack arrived earlier in the morning on a small plane.

Tamaoki Watanabe, who was shot during the siege, was taken off the plane on a stretcher and transferred to a Tokyo hospital, according to Japanese media reports.

All eight consultants had been eating together at the restaurant.

Japanese media say they ranged in age from 27-year-old Rui Shimodaira, a woman who dreamed of playing an active role in international development, to 80-year-old Hiroshi Tanaka, a retired railways research engineer who wanted to share his know-how with developing countries.

Press Association

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