Sri Lanka Blasts: Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina's 8-year-old 'grandson' killed in attack


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New Delhi:

An 8-year-old relative of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is among the 45 children who were killed in the devastating suicide bomb attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, media reports said Tuesday. Ruling Awami League leader Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim's grandson Zayan Chowdhary, who was reported missing after bombings in Sri Lanka, has died, the reports said.

The boy was having breakfast with his father Moshiul Haque Chowdhary Prince at a restaurant on the ground floor of a luxury hotel in Colombo that came under attack along with several other hotels and churches on Easter Sunday that killed 321 people and injured nearly 500 others.   

Selim's younger brother Sheikh Fazlur Rahman Maruf said that Zayan's body would be brought back to Dhaka on Wednesday, the Dhaka Tribune reported. Zayan's younger brother Zohan Chowdhary and mother Sheikh Amina Sultana Sonia were in their hotel room when the blast occured.

The family went to Sri Lanka on a holiday. Selim is a cousin of Prime Minister Hasina. 

Speaking to Bangladeshi expatriates in Brunei, Hasina urged them to pray for the grieving family. "Please pray for their safe return," Hasina said. Selim said his son-in-law Mashiul is now in the intensive care unit ICU of a hospital in Sri Lanka. 

Selim said: "I spoke with my family members there in the morning. They said Mashiul's condition is still critical, but he is improving. We will know more after 72 hours." He said splinters from the blast had hit Mashiul's kidney and liver, and some of them were still in his body. 

On Tuesday, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the devastating Easter blasts in Sri Lanka and identified the seven suicide bombers who were involved in the attacks.

In a statement issued through its propaganda 'Amaq' news agency, the ISIS said that "the executors of the attack that targeted citizens of coalition states and Christians in Sri Lanka two days ago were with the group," according to the Site Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist activities.

The statement identified the attackers as Abu Ubayda, Abu al-Mukhtar, Abu Khalil, Abu Hamza, Abu al-Bara'a, Abu Muhammad and Abu Abdullah, and  their respective targets. It said Abu Hamza detonated his vest in the St Anthony's Church in Colombo, Abu Khalil blew himself up in the St Sebastian's Church in Negombo and Abu Muhammad in the Zion Church.

The rest of the attackers targeted hotels. The statement also claimed that around 1,000 people were killed or wounded in the multiple attacks - believed to be the most deadly strike carried out by the Middle Eastern group outside Iraq and Syria.

The ISIS also issued a group photo of the attackers, showing 8 attackers while its official claim mentioned 7. The faces of seven attackers in the photo are covered while the eighth one, who is believed to be the ring leader, is without a mask.

(With PTI inputs)

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