Danish retail billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen, owner of clothing company Bestseller which is the biggest shareholder in British fashion retailer ASOS, lost three of his four children in the terrorist attacks that claimed nearly 300 lives in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.
Jesper Stubkier, Bestseller's communication manager, confirmed the losses to CNN:
"We can confirm that Anders lost three children in the attack."
A spokesman for billionaire owner of online retailer ASOS Anders Holch Povlsen says three of his children are among… https://t.co/3tAQqG4eYD— Sky News Breaking (@Sky News Breaking) 1555925158.0
Danish media reported that Holch Povlsen was in Sri Lanka with his family on vacation at the time of the attacks, to which no group has yet claimed responsibility.
At least 39 of those killed in the attacks were foreign nationals. The attacks marked the first significant outbreak of violence since Sri Lanka's 25-year civil war ended in 2009.
Condolences soon poured in for Holch Povlsen and his remaining family members.
News from Sri Lanka is tragic for all those killed & injured; includes 3 of the 4 children of Anders Holch Povlsen… https://t.co/HxAZ6Ysq8m— Mark Gallagher (@Mark Gallagher) 1555924309.0
This is 💔 I know firsthand how losing a child is devastating, but I can't imagine what losing 3 is like. Condolence… https://t.co/5sre5Q9QsH— Henry Joseph-Grant (@Henry Joseph-Grant) 1555934258.0
Incomprehensible grief. https://t.co/9rbobfR6dK— Mike Cernovich (@Mike Cernovich) 1555946358.0
This is dreadful. Denmark’s richest man Anders Holch Povlsen and his wife Anne have lost three of their four childr… https://t.co/e15fK2izBz— Ian Fraser (@Ian Fraser) 1555972885.0
Denmark's Richest: Anders Holch Povlsen, Billionaire fashion tycoon behind the online clothing retailer ASOS lost t… https://t.co/HBHbW22210— Nadvi Mohideen (@Nadvi Mohideen) 1555938174.0
Reports indicate that Sri Lankan security agencies had been watching the National Thowheed Jamath jihadist group. These agencies had notified local authorities about a possible attack.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his cabinet were not informed, according to cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne, who said Wickremesinghe was not privy to security briefings following a schism last year with President Maithripala Sirisena.
The government experienced significant upheaval in recent months after Sirisena attempted to remove Wickremesinghe and his cabinet and install a new prime minister, kicking off a constitutional crisis. Sri Lanka's Supreme Court ruled Wickremesinghe should be reinstated, which Sirisena agreed to, albeit reluctantly.
Senaratne told the press that intelligence agencies issued warnings about National Thowheed Jamath in early April. The defense ministry sent a warning to the chief of police.
The heads of several security divisions received a memo about these warnings by April 11.
U.S. and Indian intelligence had warned Sri Lankan authorities about the possibility of an attack in early April, though it was not clear whether Sirisena knew about these warnings in advance.
Sirisena has appointed a special committee led by a supreme court judge to investigate what Rauff Hakeem, the minister for town planning, called a "colossal failure of intelligence."