Source: NHK World
Family members of 7 Japanese who were killed in an attack on a restaurant in Dhaka on Friday have arrived in the Bangladeshi city.
They are identifying their loved ones, and hope to bring them home within the next few days. They also met with Japan’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Seiji Kihara.
« The families seemed tired not only physically due to the flight, but also mentally exhausted, » Kihara said.
The Japanese victims were in Dhaka working on infrastructure development projects. Their families say their desires to contribute to a better life there were cut short.
Hiroshi Tanaka was a veteran engineer working on the development of various railway technology projects. He had started an international consulting business.
« My brother passionately said he wanted to work for Bangladesh before departure. It’s a great pity that he was involved in the attack while being so dedicated to his work there, » said Takashi Tanaka.
Makoto Okamura was helping local authorities find ways to alleviate traffic congestion. His parents spoke of their loss.
« Since he was a child Makoto never caused me any trouble. Nothing is more regrettable than for parents to have a child die before they do, » said Fumie Okamura, Makoto’s mother.
« No parent can stand it without hatred. I’m talking in this way pretending all is normal but inside my body I can’t control myself, » said his father, Komakichi Okamura.
The couple says their son had planned to marry his fiancee after returning to Tokyo.
Meanwhile, Bangladeshi officials have revealed more information about the men who carried out the deadly terrorist attack.
Six gunmen stormed a restaurant in the capital, Dhaka. They took hostages before leaving 20 people dead.
« There is no existence of IS. These homegrown terrorists want to contact with the IS; this is the main thing. But all (of them) are homegrown, our nationals. They are not from other countries. They are all our nationals, our people, » said Bangladeshi Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan.
Khan also said the attackers were highly educated youths from affluent families. And he said the government vows to root out all terrorists.
An organization calling itself the Islamic State’s local affiliate said it carried out the attack. But that claim has not been verified.
The armed men holed up in the restaurant on Friday night and took people hostage. A video uploaded to Facebook appears to show one of the attackers.
Survivors say they were asked to recite verses from the Koran. Those who couldn’t were targeted. The siege ended after security forces stormed the restaurant.
Most of the victims are from other countries. They include Japanese, Italians, an American and an Indian. Investigators are questioning the lone surviving attacker. They’re looking for links to international Islamic extremist organizations.
People in Dhaka held a candlelight vigil.
« This kind of murder it is surely cannot be accepted. All Bangladeshis are speechless, » said one woman at the event.
« We are a liberal, secular nation and that image has been tarnished through this carnage. But we think the nation has got united and they say that no more of such atrocities in the name of religion, no more will we tolerate this kind of a violent attack in the name of religion, » a local man said.
Bangladesh declared 2 days of national mourning for those killed.
N.B. Image source from Wikipedia.