Faraaz Hossain, a Bangladeshi Muslim, was given the option of leaving by the terrorists who attacked the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka on Friday, but the 20-year-old decided to stay to protect his friends, his brother told The Times of India in a heartbreaking account.
"From what I have gathered, my brother was allowed to leave. But he had gone there with his friends and didn't want to leave them behind. So he had asked 'what about them?' When he was told that they couldn't leave, he decided to stay back. Muslims are not supposed to believe in violence. He was a true Muslim which is why he stayed back and proved to be one," Zaraif Hossain told TOI.
"From what I understand, they were asked to recite prayers. For my brother, it wouldn't have been difficult," he said.
Faraaz, a student at Emory University in Atlanta, was killed along with his two friends Tarishi Jain, an Indian, and Abinta Kabir.
The savage attack followed by a 10-hour-long hostage crisis claimed the lives of 20 people including three Bangladeshis, nine Italians, seven Japanese and one Indian. Brig Gen Nayeem Ashfaq Chowdhury said that "terrorists used sharp weapons to kill them brutally."
While six terrorists were killed and one arrested, Bangladeshi troops rescued 13 hostages, including an Argentine, a Japanese, two Lankans and two Bangladeshis.
The terrorists shouted "Allah hu Akbar" as they stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery, and reportedly told hostages to recite verses from the Quran. Those who failed to do so were killed.
In a gut-wrenching narrative, Zaraif described his brother as a meritorious student, consistently at the top 10 percent of his class, who had even planned where his family members would sit during his graduation ceremony two years from now.
Zaraif told TOI that his younger brother was "destined for greatness."
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