Saturday, November 29, 2008

S'porean hostage killed

Nov 28, 2008
Mumbai terror attacks

By Teh Joo Lin , Carolyn Quek

THE Mumbai terror attacks claimed a Singaporean victim when lawyer Lo Hwei Yen, 28, was confirmed among the dead on Friday night.

The tragic task of identifying the body of Singapore's first terror victim fell to her husband, corporate counsel Michael Puhaindran, who had flown to Mumbai on Thursday night.

The couple held their wedding in Bali only in June last year.

Mr Puhaindran, 37, last heard from his wife through two phone calls she made to him on Thursday after she had been taken hostage at the Trident Oberoi hotel.

She had gone to Mumbai on Wednesday to attend a business seminar and it was meant to be only a one-night trip.

At a late-night press conference on Friday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the worst had happened.

The ministry first received word at about 8pm that a body matching Ms Lo's description was found on the 19th floor of the hotel.

Confirmation came at 9.35pm when Mr Puhaindran, accompanied by the High Commissioner, identified the body.

She was among 24 Trident-Oberoi hotel hostages found dead on Friday.

Acting Prime Minister S. Jayakumar said in a statement on Friday night that he and his Cabinet colleagues were painfully saddened by Ms Lo's death.

'The loss of any life to terrorism is sad but the loss of a fellow Singaporean is a pain more keenly and more closely felt by every Singaporean. I know that all Singaporeans feel deeply for the family and our hearts go out to them in their time of sorrow and grief,' he said.

Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong also expressed sadness, saying he knew Mr Puhaindran's family and had attended the couple's wedding.

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