DHAKA, July 1 (Xinhua) -- Memorials have been held in Bangladesh capital Dhaka to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of the country's worst terrorist attack when dozens of people were killed by militants at a cafe, mostly foreigners.
On Monday morning, mourners including Bangladeshi officials, politicians and foreign diplomats gathered at the scene of the massacre, placed wreaths and prayed for the departed souls.
Five gunmen stormed the Spanish Holey Artisan Bakery cafe in Dhaka's diplomatic area of Gulshan on July 1, 2016, and taking several dozen hostages. When Dhaka Metropolitan Police tried to regain control of the bakery, two police officers were shot dead.
Twenty-two civilians were also killed in the clash, seventeen of whom were foreign nationals.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack. But Bangladeshi authorities rejected the claim, saying operatives of a banned local militant outfit -- Neo-JMB, an offshoot of banned militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), plotted the attack to boast about their existence.
Since the cafe attack, Bangladeshi police have conducted series of large-scale operations against militants, in which dozens of militants were killed.