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Sheikh Selim’s minor grandson dies in Sri Lanka bombings

Published: April 22, 2019 09:26:09 | Updated: April 22, 2019 16:38:14


Crime scene officials inspect the explosion area at Shangri-La hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka, April 21, 2019. Reuters

Awami League leader Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim’s grandson Zayan Chowdhary, who was reported missing after bombings in Sri Lanka, has died.

The boy, eight and a half years old, was having breakfast with his father Moshiul Haque Chowdhary Prince at a restaurant on the ground floor of a hotel in Colombo that came under attack along with several other hotels and churches during Easter Sunday celebrations.

Prince was also injured and hospitalised, according to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, a relative of Selim.

Zayan’s younger brother Zohan Chowdhary and mother Sheikh Amina Sultana Sonia were in their hotel room during the blast. The family went to Sri Lanka on a holiday tour.

Speaking to Bangladeshi expatriates in Brunei, Hasina urged them to pray for the grieving family.

“Sheikh Selim’s daughter, son-in-law and two children were in Sri Lanka. The son-in-law, Prince, was injured when the restaurant was bombed. He has been hospitalised while there is no trace of the eight-and-a-half-year-old boy.

“Please pray for their safe return,” Hasina said.

Later in the night, Imrul Kayes, an aide to Selim, said the boy was found hospitalised in a critical condition while Prince was out of danger.

Selim’s relative Sheikh Olidur Rahman Hira later confirmed the news of Zayan’s death.

Selim’s wife and younger son Sheikh Fazle Nayeem started for Colombo in the afternoon, Kayes said.

Sheikh Fazle Fahim, another son of Selim, was also starting for Sri Lanka from Brunei, where he was accompanying Hasina.

Selim was at home in Dhaka and many Awami League leaders came to console him, Kayes said.

At least 207 people were killed and more than 450 others injured in the bombings, the first major attack on the Indian Ocean island since the end of a civil war 10 years ago, bdnews24.com reported.

Seven people were arrested and three police officers were killed during a security forces raid on a house in the Sri Lankan capital several hours after the rash of attacks, some of which officials said were suicide bombs.

The government declared a curfew in Colombo and blocked access to social media and messaging sites, including Facebook and WhatsApp.

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