College

American universities mourn students killed in Bangladesh terror attack

These undated photos show, from left, Abinta Kabir, Faraaz Hossain, and Tarushi Jain. Kabir and Hossain were students at Emory University, while Jain attended the University of California, Berkeley. All three died in the attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka, Bangladesh

These undated photos show, from left, Abinta Kabir, Faraaz Hossain, and Tarushi Jain. Kabir and Hossain were students at Emory University, while Jain attended the University of California, Berkeley. All three died in the attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka, Bangladesh  (Facebook)

Two prominent American colleges on opposite sides of the U.S. were plunged into mourning Saturday after learning that their students were among the victims of Friday's terror attack on a restaurant in the Bangladesh capital, Dhaka. 

Emory University in Atlanta announced that students Abinta Kabir and Faraaz Hossain were among the dead. Kabir, of Miami, Fla., was a sophomore at Emory's Oxford College who was visiting family and friends in Bangladesh. Hossain, a junior at the university's Goizueta Business School, was a Dhaka native.

David Leinweber, an associate professor of history, described Kabir as "disciplined, very smart and very likable" in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "You knew she was going somewhere."

Rifat Mursalin, a recent Emory graduate, said he met Hossain when the younger student offered to help him with a project on alleviating poverty in Bangladesh. 

"That’s the kind of person he was," Mursalin told the Journal-Constitution. "He offered to help out of the sheer goodness of his heart."

At the University of California, Berkeley, chancellor Nicholas Dirks confirmed that Tarushi Jain, a native of India, was also killed at the Holey Artisan Bakery.

Jain, 19, had been on holiday from her studies and was in Dhaka visiting her father, who has run a garment business in the country for the past 15 or 20 years, Indian government sources told the Associated Press.

One of Jain's classmates described her as driven to improve conditions in Bangladesh.

"She was just ready to take action and make change," Rebecca Dharmapalan, 20, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "What’s hitting me hard is that she wanted to see so much happen there ... she wanted to do everything she could for the people."

Another Berkeley student, 18-year-old Chanakya Varma, told the Chronicle that Jain was "genuinely good person who brought out the best in people." He added that her death would make the university "a less brighter place."

"Walking to school now, it's going to be difficult," he said.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack on the popular restaurant in Dhaka's diplomatic quarter. The attackers killed 20 hostages and two police officers. Following a 10-hour standoff, a Bangladeshi commando raid freed 13 other hostages and killed six of the militants. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.