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More details on attackers emerge

worldpaper Updated: Jul 05, 2016, 09:12 IST
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DHAKA: Friends and classmates of some of the attackers who stormed a Dhaka restaurant and killed 20 hostages have identified them as members of well-off families who studied at elite institutions in Bangladesh and abroad.

Since Islamic State posted photos of five of the attackers, holding guns and grinning in front of a black flag, posts on Facebook identified them as Nibras Islam, Rohan Imtiaz, Meer Saameh Muba sheer, Andaleeb Ahmed and Raiyan Minhaj.

Rohan Imtiaz is the son of Imtiaz Khan Babul, a mid-ranking leader of the ruling Awami League, and his mother is a teacher at Scholastica, one of Dhaka’s leading English medium schools. He studied at the Kuala Lumpur campus of Australia’s Monash University.

Babul had filed a complaint in January about his son going missing last December.

Police and a survivor were quoted by The Daily Star newspaper as saying that Nibras Islam was the apparent leader of the attackers as he was heard giving commands to the others.

Friends said Islam was not very religious and a video posted on his Facebook page in June last year showed him shaking hands with Indian actor Shraddha Kapoor. Islam apparently became religious after moving to Malaysia, where he too attended Monash University, and snapped contacts with friends in Bangladesh.

Meer Saameh Mubasheer, a former student of Scholastica, was from a strict and religious family. He was due to take his A-level exams when he went missing in February while on his way to a coaching centre in Dhaka.

Two other attackers stood out as they came from less privileged backgrounds. Khairul Islam Payel and Shafikul Islam Ujjal hailed from villages in northern Bogra district. Payel was the son of a labourer who completed his education at a madrassa last year.

His sister told the media he worked at a shop in Dhaka to support his family.

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