Three students from American universities were among the victims of an armed attack at a restaurant in Bangladesh early Saturday, university and foreign officials confirmed.
At least 20 hostages were killed in a 10-hour standoff before security forces stormed the restaurant in the capital, Dhaka, and killed six of the attackers, Bangladeshi officials said.
A University of California, Berkeley student was among those killed, the Indian minister of external affairs, Sushma Swaraj, said in a series of messages on Twitter.
Berkeley officials later said Tarishi Jain, a 19-year-old who had graduated from the American International School in Dhaka, had come to the university in 2015 planning to major in economics.
Jain had been working on e-commerce growth at Eastern Bank Limited in Dhaka through an internship with a university center for Bangladeshi studies, which began in early June, university officials said. Her father was a textile merchant based in Dhaka.
“We are all very devastated to hear the news about Tarishi Jain. She was a smart and ambitious young woman with a big heart,” Sanchita Saxena, executive director of the Institute for South Asia Studies and director of the Center for Bangladesh Studies, said in a statement released by the university Saturday.
A Facebook page for a young woman from Dhaka with the same name and academic history as Jain included a post extolling her “most selfless, compassionate, and devoted mother” last year.
“This goes without saying, but I love you more than you could ever imagine,” Jain wrote.
Jain also posted to Facebook about the International Students Association at Berkeley and a student group that designs shirts to help underprivileged entrepreneurs start their own businesses.
Swaraj wrote that she had spoken to the father of the young woman and that “the country of India is with them in this hour of grief.”
The two other students killed, Abinta Kabir and Faraaz Hossain, were studying at Emory University in Atlanta.
Kabir, who was from Miami, was a rising sophomore at Emory’s Oxford College, university officials said in a statement. Hossain, who was from Dhaka, had graduated from the same college and was headed into the Goizueta Business School in the fall, university President James Wagner wrote.
“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,” Wagner wrote in a statement posted on the Emory website.
Kabir and Jain appeared to be close, based on Facebook posts and comments between the two. In one post nearly four years ago, Kabir said “UN DAY With my cute peeps” and tagged Jain along with two other friends.
Jain commented: “lol that’s my desktop wallpaper.”
Hossain also posted a picture of himself with Jain on his Facebook page in 2014, the two wearing medals, with the caption: “Last trip with this kid” and “I think I’m gonna miss you a litttttlee bit next year.”
Other friends tagged in photos on the two women’s Facebook pages changed their profile pictures to a black screen.
The attacks resonated across the globe as details emerged about the other victims.
Nine of the dead were Italian, according to that country’s foreign ministry. In Japan, the state minister for foreign affairs, Seiji Kihara, told reporters that one Japanese national had been rescued, but seven others were unaccounted for.
The U.S. State Department also confirmed that one U.S. citizen was among the victims.