Three U.S. college students killed in Bangladesh attack
DHAKA, Bangladesh — A multi-national crowd was dining when terrorists invaded the trendy restaurant in a diplomatic enclave of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.
The attackers took hostages and exchanged gunfire with police until soldiers moved in and killed the militants.
Twenty people inside the Holey Artisan Bakery cafe were killed, along with two police officers and six terrorists.
Bangladeshi authorities said the 20 slain hostages included 11 males and nine females. The nationalities included nine Italians, seven Japanese, one Indian, two Bangladeshis and one U.S. citizen of Bangladeshi origin.
Tarishi Jain, of India, was a U.S. college student who was serving an internship in Bangladesh. Jain, 19, was a sophomore at University of California at Berkeley and had started an internship at a bank in Dhaka just weeks ago.
She’d lived in Dhaka before, attending the American International School in Bangladesh’s capital while her father worked in the city as a textile merchant, UC Berkeley said Saturday.
“She was a smart and ambitious young woman with a big heart,” said Sanchita Saxena, director of UC Berkeley’s Center for Bangladesh Studies. “Our deepest condolences to her family, friends, and the entire Berkeley community.”
Fellow student Hannah Nguyen worked with Jain in the sales department of EthiCAL, a student-run apparel company.
“All of the times we had meetings, she had a way to make people feel happy, and she had a great spirit about her,” Nguyen said. “Her smile was contagious.”
Nguyen said her friend’s death makes terrorism more than a headline.
“We hear about these attacks and now it’s brought home. It’s extremely personal,” she said. “This reminds us that it’s always a good time to tell someone how important they are.”
Jain intended to major in economics and had begun an internship at Dhaka’s Eastern Bank Limited, working on e-commerce growth, in early June, UC Berkeley said.
India’s minister of external affairs, Sushma Swaraj, said on Twitter that she’d spoken to Jain’s father and offered her condolences, adding that “the country is with them in this hour of grief.”
Abinta Kabir, of Miami, attended Emory University’s Oxford College in Oxford, Georgia.
Kabir, one of two Emory University students killed in the attack, was a “treasure to this world,” her childhood friend Emma Louisa Jacoby said.
Kabir was a sophomore at the Atlanta-based university’s campus in Oxford, Georgia. She had been visiting family and friends in Dhaka, the university said.
Like Jain, Kabir had attended the American International School in Dhaka before college, Jacoby said.
“Her work ethic was always inspiring to me. She was incredibly goal-oriented and committed to her work and extra curricular activities, and an amazing athlete on top of that,” Jacoby told CNN. “Everything she achieved, I can say she earned.”
Rushay Amarath-Madav, a college friend, said Kabir was extremely generous.
“I remember going for dance practice one day and I desperately needed black leggings, and mine were in the wash so I just knocked on her door and she just gave me her leggings, even when we weren’t that close,” Amarath-Madav said in an email.
“When I graduated Oxford, she … made me a little candy bag with sweets and wrote me a card about how much she would miss me and how in such a short span of time we had become so close and had so many inside jokes.”
Florida Gov. Rick Scott directed U.S. and Florida state flags across the state to be flown at half-staff Sunday to mourn Kabir.
Faraaz Hossain, who was from Dhaka, was a 2016 graduate of Oxford College near Atlanta and a student at Emory’s Goizueta Business School.
A friend from high school said he was voted prom king and class president. His friend told CNN he was very humble and one of the most responsible people she’d ever met.
Another friend, Rifat Mursalin, said he got to know Hossain, a fellow Bangladeshi, through a school project.
“My first interaction with Faraaz was when he reached out to me and offered to help me on a project I was working on,” Mursalin said. “And that serves as a testament to the kind of person he was. You know, always very loving, caring, helpful and extremely outgoing.”
He added, “We are still in disbelief and shock that the two places I consider home — Dhaka and Emory University — are both shaken by this tragic atrocity.”
“The Emory community mourns this tragic and senseless loss of two members of our university family,” the university said in a prepared statement Saturday. “Our thoughts and prayers go out on behalf of Faraaz and Abinta and their families and friends for strength and peace at this unspeakably sad time.”
Makoto Okamura, 32, was one of seven Japanese nationals confirmed dead. They were all having dinner at the cafe when the terrorists struck.
“Everybody loved him. He is a good man,” his father, Komakichi Okamoto, 71, told Japan’s TV Asahi.
Okamura was engaged to be married, Asahi reported.