Anders Holch Povlsen and his wife Anne arrive for an event in Copenhagen. Ritzau Scanpix / Tariq Mikkel Khan / AFP
Three of the four children of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen were killed in the Easter day attacks in Sri Lanka, a spokesman for his clothing retail group Bestseller said on Monday.
Danish media have reported that Holch Povlsen, his wife Anne and their four children were in Sri Lanka on vacation at the moment of the attacks, which struck churches and luxury hotels killing nearly 300 people.
"I can confirm that three children have been killed," Jesper Stubkier, the communications manager for Bestseller, said in a statement.
"We ask you to respect the privacy of the family and we therefore have no further comments." Considered to be Denmark's richest man, 46-year-old Holch Povlsen is the main shareholder in the online fashion retailer ASOS as well as owning Bestseller.
He inherited Bestseller from his parents who founded the firm in 1975.
The group, which includes brands such as Vero Moda, Only and Jack & Jones, has more than 3,000 stores in 70 countries.
In addition to the majority stake in Britain-based ASOS, Holch Povlsen also owns an interest in its German rival Zalando.
Sri Lankan officials said Monday they believe that the local hardliner extremist group National Thowheeth Jama'ath (NTJ) was behind the attacks.
Dozens of foreigners are among those killed, while some 500 people were injured.
Kithsiri De Silva, the head chef at Sri Lanka’s venerable Kingsbury Hotel, walked through the main restaurant during breakfast Sunday, greeting diners and surveying the extravagant buffet. He would have seen, he thinks now with dread, the guest who moments later detonated a suicide bomb in the middle of the dining room, one of a coordinated sequence of blasts against hotels and churches.
The Sri Lankan and Cypriot authorities have been condemned by their own citizens for failing to deal with mass murderers in their midst. Timely action by Colombo could have saved the lives of 253 people, massacred on the Western Easter Sunday at churches and hotels around the country. The deaths were the highest since Sri Lanka’s civil war ended a decade ago.
Terrorism is a language of the cowards and those with evil mindsets. Terrorists engage in indiscriminate violence and destruction with the wrong notion that they can strangle social harmony and break the unity of peace-loving people around the world.
Local officials said the attack happened after two police were killed at a roadside checkpoint outside the city.
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