The death toll of Bangladeshi victims rose to five and another person remained missing till Sunday as they were victims of terror attacks in two mosques at Christchurch in New Zealand, according to Bangladesh authorities.
‘We have information that five Bangladeshi victims died including the two persons who were previously declared dead,’ a Bangladesh diplomat told New Age over phone on Sunday afternoon.
The New Zealand authorities are likely to start handing over the bodies on Monday to the relatives of the deceased and competent relevant authorities of the country the deceases belong to, Mohammad Sufiur Rahman, Bangladesh high commissioner in Australia with concurrent responsibility to New Zealand, said.
The bodies of former Bangladesh Agricultural University professor Abdus Samad and Hosne Ara Farid are likely to be buried in New Zealand as per the desire of their family, he said.
Decisions on the rest, if any, would be taken ‘after the New Zealand authorities complete legal formalities,’ he said, adding that the mission would take all measures to transfer bodies of the deceased to Bangladesh and hand them over to their respective families.
Lipi, who was critically injured, underwent a surgery at a hospital in New Zealand on Sunday, the high commissioner said without further detail about her condition.
State minister for foreign affairs M Shahriar Alam said on Saturday that Mozammel Haq, Shaon and Zakaria Bhuiyan were missing since the attacks during the Friday prayers and Mutassim, Hasan Rubel, Omar Faruk and Shahjada Akher were undergoing treatment in hospitals.
Bangladesh honorary consul general in Auckland Shafiqur Rahman Bhuiyan said they had two meetings on Sunday with local police in presence of the religious clerics of the mosques and local Muslim community leaders.
The police mentioned Abdus Samad and Hosne Ara Farid in the list of the deceased, he said.
The police did not deny too when the community leaders sought confirmation of the death of two persons of the Bangladeshi missing list and an injured person mentioning the three names, Bhuiyan said.
The police said they were trying to establish contact with the family members of the victims.
He said families of Mozammel Haq and Omar Faruk could not be reached as they did not have any immediate contact in New Zealand.
Bhuiyan said there was no whereabouts till Sunday afternoon of a Bangladeshi victim earlier mentioned in the missing list.
A gunman shot 50 people dead and scores injured at two mosques in New Zealand, as the authorities prepared to begin releasing the bodies of victims to their families for burial, according to Reuters.
Bangladesh authorities were expecting that they would get clear person-specific information after completion of forensic tests and legal assessments and arrangements by the New Zealand government, Bangladesh officials said, adding that death toll might rise in the next rounds of assessments.
Bangladesh high commission in Canberra said family members of the victims could contact Shafiqur Rahman Bhuiyan at his mobile phone number +64 21024 65819 and two additional numbers for emergency contact are +61 424 472544 and +61 450173035 for assistance about the victims.
Japanese ambassador to Bangladesh Hiroyasu Izumi on Sunday extended condolences to those Bangladeshi who lost their lives and their bereaved families in the atrocious terrorist attack in Christchurch
‘Terrorism cannot be justified for any reason, under any circumstance,’ he said in a statement, adding that in close cooperation with Bangladesh and the international community, Japan expressed determination to stand up against terrorism and to overcome this difficult time.
Source: New Age.