Three American college students were among the 20 hostages slaughtered by ISIS terrorists who raided a Bangladesh café Friday.
Tarishi Jain, a 19-year-old sophomore at the University of California Berkeley, was killed during the 10-hour standoff at Holey Artisan Bakery, the school said Saturday. The Indian national was interning at a bank in Dhaka this summer and was planning on majoring in economics.
“She was a smart and ambitious young woman with a big heart. Our deepest condolences to her family, friends, and the entire Berkeley community,” Sanchita Saxena, executive director of the Institute for South Asia Studies, said in a statement.
Atlanta’s Emory University officials also confirmed that two of its undergrads, Abinta Kabir and Faraaz Hossain, were among the people found dead inside the café in the capital city of Dhaka.
“The Emory community mourns this tragic and senseless loss of two members of our university family. 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,” the school said in a statement.
Faraaz, a Dhaka native, graduated from Oxford College, the university’s two-year liberal arts school, earlier this year and was heading into the business school in the fall, campus officials said. Kabir, who was from Miami, was a rising sophomore at Oxford College.
Kabir’s cousin said the 18-year-old, who was born in Bangladesh, traveled to Dkaha earlier this week and planned to spend part of her summer vacation visiting family and friends.
She went to the café after Iftar, an evening meal Muslims eat during the month of Ramadan, to meet up with friends, Afsara Adiba said in a Facebook post.
Survivors said the terrorists asked the hostages to recite portions of the Koran.Those who could prove they were Muslim were spared and given food to eat. Those who couldn’t rattle off passages of the holy book were tortured and killed.
Kabir was executed despite her faith, Adiba said.
“Was it her fault that she couldn’t speak Bangla that much?” she asked, referring to Bangladesh’s language. “Or was that her fault that maybe she couldn’t recite Qur’an properly?”
Emory University President James Wagner said Kabir’s mother was in “unspeakable pain” upon receiving news of her daughter’s death.
“Please, as you are inclined, direct your kindest thoughts and sincerest prayers in her behalf and that of her family,” Wagner wrote in an email to students and staffers.
A throng of attackers — later claimed by the Islamic State — stormed the cafe late Friday night shouting “Allahu Akbar,” which means “God is Great” in Arabic. They ignored police negotiation attempts and opened fire on the cops who had surrounded the restaurant, killing two officers, police said.
Paramilitary troops eventually raided the café early Saturday morning, about 10 hours into the standoff, and killed six of the gunmen. A seventh was captured alive.
The team rescued 13 of the hostages. Twenty others — all foreigners — had already been killed by the terrorists, officials said.
With News Wire Services
SOURCE: MEG WAGNER
New York Daily News