- The Washington Times - Monday, April 22, 2019

A fifth-grader from a prestigious private school in the District of Columbia has been confirmed as one of the four American victims of the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka.

Sidwell Friends announced Monday that Kieran Shafritz de Zoysa had been killed while studying in Sri Lanka during a leave of absence from the school.

“Kieran was passionate about learning, he adored his friends, and he was incredibly excited about returning to Sidwell Friends this coming school year,” Sidwell Principal Mamadou Guye wrote in an email to students and parents.

According to State Department officials, at least four Americans were among nearly 300 people killed in a coordinated suicide blasts that ripped through three Catholic churches and three luxury hotels early Sunday.

While no group has yet claimed responsibility, Sri Lankan authorities on Monday blamed the National Thowfeek Jamaath, a Muslim militant group.



According to Sidwell Friends, Kieran was a member of the class of 2026. His age was not disclosed, but fifth-graders usually are about 10 or 11 years old.

Local Washington media outlets reported that he was believed to have family in Sri Lanka, a mostly Buddhist, South Asian island-nation in the Indian Ocean.

“This is obviously an unexpected tragedy for his family and for his greater community,” Mr. Guye wrote.

Sidwell Friends is a selective, Quaker-run school with locations in Bethesda, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Former President Barack Obama’s daughters, Sasha and Malia, and former President Bill Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, attended the school.

In the D.C. area, Sidwell Friends announced plans Monday to make counselors available to students.

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