Italy's premier denies friction with Dhaka over handling of attack

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Sunday rejected press reports suggesting that his government was unhappy about the way Bangladeshi authorities responded to the Dhaka terrorist attack that killed 20 civilians, including nine Italians.

The Il Messaggero newspaper alleged that the Bangladeshi security forces who stormed the restaurant where people were being held hostage were poorly equipped, did not warn Italy about the action, and refused aid offers from US and British intelligence forces.

"I think that by now any kind of discussion or polemic is pretty much pointless," Renzi said in an interview with the SkyTG24 news channel.

"From the first minute, it was a situation that was very difficult to handle," he added.

Renzi said the attackers were "ready to do anything," and "got in aiming to kill and succeeded."

Italian authorities have sent a plane to Dhaka to recover the bodies of the victims.

In Rome, national flags were flying at half mast from government buildings.

The killings prompted President Sergio Mattarella to cut short a visit to Latin America. Mattarella arrived in Mexico on Friday, where he was due to stay until Tuesday, and then move on to visit Uruguay and Argentina before heading back on July 10.

Last update: Sun, 03/07/2016 - 14:35

More from Europe

Russia drops request for navy to use Spanish port under NATO pressure

Russia has withdrawn its request for warships to use the Spanish port of Ceuta on the Mediterranean Sea, the Russian...

Conservationists slam Norway at whaling conference

Conservationist groups Wednesday criticized an ongoing meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) for...

EU queries Italy spending plans; Renzi threatens retaliatory veto

The European Commission has asked Italy to explain its spendthrift 2017 budget plans, it confirmed Wednesday, hours...

Calais migrant camp empty, as official announces "end of the Jungle"

All the migrants at a camp near the northern French port city of Calais have left, the official heading the Pas de...

Migrant rescues close to Libya pose security risk, EU agency says

Migrants adrift in the Mediterranean are being picked up "closer and closer" to Libyan waters, exposing rescue...