A Pizza Baker Was Mistakenly Shot In the Recent Terror Attack in Bangladesh

The baker was mistakenly shot by police during the military operation intended to free those being held captive during the 12-hour siege at the bakery in Dhaka this past Saturday.
July 7, 2016, 12:00am
Photo via Flickr user Derek K. Miller

A bakery sounds like the least likely place one would have to fear for one's life. And working in such a place is surely a dream come true for someone who loves bread. But in today's world of unpredictable terror attacks, an artisanal bakery has now joined the list of places—movie theater, grade school, university classroom, rock club—that have been the sites of blood-soaked violence. And a pizza maker at Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka, Bangladesh has now joined the list of victims of such attacks.

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In this case, the baker was mistakenly shot by police during the military operation intended to free those being held captive during the 12-hour siege at the bakery in Dhaka this past Saturday. Along with five terrorists, now identified as ISIS militants, the baker was killed in error. The attack on the bakery is one of the deadliest ever to occur in Bangladesh, with over 20 people dead as a result.

Initial reports said that the police had killed six terrorists in the siege, but ISIS claimed only five were involved. It turned out that the sixth person killed was the baker. A police official in Dhaka has identified him as Saiful Islam Chowkidar, a pizza chef at Holey Artisan Bakery. That said, Bangladeshi police are now backpedaling on the accidental nature of Chowkidar's death and are claiming he was possibly in league with the assailants as he was allegedly seen "moving and running" with the gunmen.

Holey Artisan Bakery describes itself as "the only truly artisan bakery shop between Mumbai and Singapore, located right here in Dhaka." Its mission, the bakery says, is "not about making profit." In fact, they say, "Everyone involved could easily be making more money with much less effort in other sectors." Instead, the people at Holey Artisan say they want to expression their passion for baking. Started by a couple named Lillian and Porag, along with two of their close friends, Holey Artisan says they have experienced recent growth and that "everyone involved is a key ingredient."

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Holey Artisan Bakery has become popular for its key lime pie, ciabatta bread, and pizza, but now the horrors of terrorism have visited the bakery, which was popular with foreign officials and expats and is located in an affluent area of international embassies.

The most recent Facebook post for Holey Artisan Bakery reads as follows: "Thank you for the memories. We will not let Holey be defined by terror but by the love and passion of its beginning. We will return. Porag and the Holey team."

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