ASOS owner Anders Holch Povlsen loses three of his four children in Sri Lanka Easter suicide attacks

Publish Date
Tuesday, 23 April 2019, 9:22AM

Billionaire ASOS owner Anders Holch Povlsen has lost three of his four children in the Sri Lanka terror attacks on Easter Sunday that killed at least 290 people.

A spokesman for Povlsen, Denmark's richest man, who also owns a huge estate in Scotland, confirmed the deaths but did not say which of his children had been killed.

The spokesman confirmed three of Povlsen's children were among the dead after they visited Sri Lanka over the Easter holidays.

Days before the devastating attacks, one of Povlsen's children, Alma, shared a holiday snap of her siblings Astrid, Agnes and Alfred, next to a pool.

The co-ordinated Easter Sunday bombings that ripped through Sri Lankan churches and luxury hotels were carried out by seven suicide bombers from a domestic militant group named National Thowfeek Jamaath (NTJ), a government official said on Monday.

All of the bombers were Sri Lankan citizens, but authorities suspect foreign links, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said at a news conference.

Earlier, Ariyananda Welianga, a government forensic crime investigator, said an analysis of the attackers' body parts made it clear they were suicide bombers.

He said most of the attacks were done by a single bomber, with two at Colombo's Shangri-La Hotel.

As well as the deaths, more than 500 people were injured in the bombings, Sri Lanka's deadliest violence since a devastating civil war ended a decade ago on the island nation, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said Monday.

The NTJ were the subject of an intelligence warning 10 days before the attacks. The warning said they were planning attacks on churches and the Indian High Commission.

Povlsen is married to Anne Storm Pedersen. The pair met when Anne began working in sales for the tycoon's international clothing retail chain Bestseller.

Earlier, in a statement to Danish national daily newspaper Berlingske, Bestseller spokesman Jesper Stubkier said: "Unfortunately, we can confirm [the children's deaths]. We ask you to respect privacy and we therefore have no further comment."

Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to Britain, Manisha Gunasekera, said the number of British victims had risen to eight after it was previously reported five were killed in a series of explosions at hotels and churches, the Telegraph reported.

"As of now I think there is information on eight nationals who have lost their lives and the other numbers are of other nationals," she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Gunasekera said the investigations were moving "very swiftly" but warned against taking a "linear view" on the motive of the attacks.

She said: "This cuts across the ethnic and religious dimensions ... it's very difficult to see who has been targeted. It appears as if the entirety of Sri Lanka has been targeted as well as the unity and co-existence that Sri Lankans have attempted so hard to safeguard over the years."

 

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission.