News & Opinion | April 28, 2019 1:16 pm

Two Rich, Devastated Families On Opposite Sides of Easter Attacks

At the same place at the same time but for different reasons.

Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (GettyImages)
Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (GettyImages)
Getty Images

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A week after 250 people were killed in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Easter by Islamist extremists, stories of casualties continue to emerge. Among them is one of two extravagantly wealthy families on opposite sides of the attacks who were at the same place at the same time but for different reasons, reports The New York Times.

On Easter morning, Anders Holch Povlsen, a Danish retail billionaire, was having breakfast with his family at the Table One restaurant in the Shangri-La Hotel. At the very same moment, Ilham Ibrahim, the son of one of Sri Lanka’s wealthiest spice traders, was en route to Table One in an elevator. Ilham and his older brother, Inshaf were among the suicide bombers, reports the Times. Ilham and Inshaf Ibrahim, as well as Alma, Agnes and Alfred Povlsen were blown to pieces instantly, “one side slaughtered by the other,” writes The New York Times.

Why would two of Sri Lanka’s rich and elite do this? “Everybody keeps asking me that question,” said Hilmy Ahmed, the vice president of the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka. “I don’t know if there ever will be an answer.”