A pregnant woman and three university students are among the 20 people killed following a deadly attack in the Bangladesh capital, which ended Saturday after a 12-hour standoff.

Two of the students were identified by officials at Emory University in Atlanta as Faraaz Hossain, from Dhaka, and Abinta Kabir, from Miami.

Kabir was a student at the school's campus in Oxford, Ga. She was visiting family and friends in Bangladesh when she was taken hostage and killed. Hossain had completed his second year at Oxford and was headed to the business school in the fall.

Abinta Kabir

Abinta Kabir was a resident of Miami and an undergraduate student at Emory University's Oxford College in Atlanta. She was in Bangladesh visiting friends and family. (Abinta Kabir/Facebook)

University president James Wagner said that Abinta's mother, with whom he had been in contact with, was in "unspeakable pain" upon receiving news of the death of her daughter.

"Please, as you are inclined, direct your kindest thoughts and sincerest prayers on her behalf and that of her family," Wagner wrote.

A classmate of Hossain and Kabir said both were genuine and intelligent people who had no enemies.

Kereisha Harrell says she worked with Faraaz Hossain and Abinta Kabir on a committee at Emory's Oxford College that planned school-wide events. She says both Hossain and Kabir were part of an honour society recognizing academic achievement.

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Faraaz Hossain, right, was a student from Atlanta's Emory University. (Faraaz Hossain/Facebook)

"We are honestly shocked," said Harrell. "A lot of us are not ready to talk about it. But we were a family. It hit us hard. There are a lot of people very upset. We're just trying to support each other through this."

The U.S. government has confirmed that the American citizen killed in the attacks was an Emory student.

Another student killed in the attack was 19-year-old Tarushi Jain, India's minister of external affairs Sushma Swaraj wrote on Twitter.

"I have spoken to her father Shri Sanjeev Jain and conveyed our deepest condolences. The country is with them in this hour of grief," the minister wrote. "I monitored this personally the whole night.... It is a case of brutal killing — an unnatural death."

Jain had graduated from the American International School in Dhaka, and began studying at the University of California Berkeley last year. Berkeley officials said she intended to major in economics.

In a statement in June, the university said she had been in Dhaka since early that month on an internship at Eastern Bank Limited working on e-commerce growth.

"We are all very devastated," said Sanchita Saxena, executive director of Berkeley's Institute for South Asia Studies and director of its Center for Bangladesh Studies.

"She was a smart and ambitious young woman with a big heart. Our deepest condolences to her family, friends, and the entire Berkeley community."

The university said Jain's father is a textile merchant based in Dhaka and that he was among relatives and friends who rushed to the scene of the attack in hope of news of their loved ones. 

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Bangladeshi security personnel stand guard after gunmen stormed a restaurant in Dhaka's diplomatic zone on Friday night. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

5-months pregnant

The brother of an Italian woman who was slain in the attack told Italian state TV that Simona Monti, 33, was five-months pregnant.

Rev. Luca Monti said she planned to name the child Michelangelo and was returning to Italy soon for a medical checkup.

Monti, a priest in southern Italy, said he hopes "this experience of martyrdom for my family and the blood of my sister Simona can help contribute to building a more just and brotherly world."

The woman had lived in the town of Magliano Sabino, about 70 kilometres north of Rome.

She had worked in Dhaka since 2009 as a technician and production manager for a clothing manufacturer.

Father of twins

Another Italian, business manager Cristian Rossi, 47, was in Dhaka for work when he was killed.

The married father of three-year-old twin girls had previously worked as a buyer for an Italian textile company, then worked in his own import business involving clothing made in a Dhaka factory.

State TV said he was supposed to have headed back to Italy on Thursday, but delayed his departure to sign business contracts.

Many worked in textiles

Seven other Italians were killed in the attack.

Claudia Maria D'Antona, 56, worked in the clothing and textiles business. Her husband, Gianni Boschetti survived the attack because he was in the restaurant garden talking on the phone. When she lived in Italy, in the early 1980s, she served as a volunteer helping disaster victims.

Nadia Benedetti, 52, was a managing director for a Bangladeshi branch of a British firm. Her friend, Adele Puglisi, 54, a quality control manager from Catania, Sicily, had intentions to head back to Italy.

Maria Rivoli: 34, from the Bergamo area of northern Italy, mother of a three-year-old, was travelling in Bangladesh for the textile business

Marco Tondat, 39, had been in Bangladesh for about a year. He worked in textiles industry and was about to return home.

Claudio Cappelli, 45, lived in Vedano al Lambro, near Monza.

Vincenzo D'Allestro, 46, Swiss-born, lived in Accera, southern Italy. 

One other Italian is reported missing.

Japan and Bangladeshi nationals

Five Japanese men and two women, all working on a Japanese government aid project in Dhaka, who were dining at the restaurant under siege.

Four of the seven Japanese victims have been identified as Koyo Ogasawara, Makoto Okamura, Yuko Sakai, Rui Shimodaira.

The Bangladesh government has confirmed three of its citizens were killed as well as two police officers.

With files from Reuters