One of the victims of the Dhaka cafe shooting was a Muslim student who, despite being allowed to leave by the militants responsible, refused to desert his friends and fellow hostages.

Faraz Hossain, a Bangladeshi student at Emory University in the US, was killed alongside 19 others including Abinta Kabir, who was studying at the same US university.

His nephew Hishaan said Mr Hossain had been offered the chance to leave the cafe along with women wearing hijabs.

However, according to the New York Times, when the two women accompanying him in Western clothes were refused, he chose to stay behind and was subsequently killed.

Twenty people were killed in the attack on Holey Artisan Bakery in the Bangladeshi capital including seven Japanese aid workers, an Indian student and nine Italian businessmen and women.

Two police officers were killed and 30 injured during the 12-hour siege before Bangladeshi commandos stormed the cafe rescuing 13 hostages. The commandos killed six of the gunmen and arrested another.

An Italian businessman, Gianni Boschetti, had taken a phone call in the cafe's garden when the attack began and managed to escape by throwing himself into nearby bushes, BBC reported.

An Italian businessman, Gianni Boschetti, had taken a phone call in the cafe's garden when the attack began and managed to escape by throwing himself into nearby bushes, BBC reported.

The militants reportedly tortured and killed any hostage unable to recite a verse from the Qur'an.

Isis has claimed responsibility, warning citizens of "crusader countries" that their citizens would not be safe "as long as their aircraft are killing Muslims". It also posted pictures of five fighters grinning in front of a black flag who it said were involved in the attack, according to the SITE monitoring website.

However, Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan told Reuters that neither Isis nor al Qaeda was involved. He reiterated the government's line that home-grown militants were responsible for a spate of killings in the country over the past 18 months.

"This was done by JMB," Khan said, referring to Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, which claims to represent Islamic State in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh's home secretary, Asaduzzaman Khan, said the the attackers were not affiliated to Isis but belonged to a banned local militant group.

Mr Khan told AFP: "They are members of the Jamaeytul Mujahdeen Bangladesh [JMB]. They have no connections with the Islamic State."

The JMB achieved notoriety through the public lynching of left-wing militants and assassinations of judges, and in 2005 it set off more than 500 bombs in 64 districts simultaneously.

Courtesy The Independent