A seven-year-old girl from Nagpur and a man from Pune were killed in an explosion on the Syria-Iraq border on Sunday evening,the two families said today.
The victims were among a group of Indian pilgrims travelling to the holy city of Karbala in central Iraq. Neither of the two families had received an official word from the government until Monday night.
Infiya was going to Karbala on pilgrimage with her parents Zakir and Arwa Kothawala and 17-year-old elder sister Rukayya when their bus was hit by a blast, the childs uncle Sajid Kothawala said. He said the family had received a call from Zakir Kothawala,who is being treated for minor injuries at a hospital.
Arwa and Rukayya escaped unhurt,Sajid,who is Zakirs brother,said.
The Kothawalas are Bohras who have a paint shop in Nagpur. They left Mumbai on May 24 on a pilgrimage to Syria,Iraq and Jordon. They spent two days in Damascus before leaving for Karbala.
Infiya,who was a student of Class 2 in Nagpurs Centre Point School,will be buried in the holy city of Najaf,Sajid said. The rest of the family will complete their pilgrimage and return to Nagpur on June 7, he said.
The victim from Pune,Abbas Masanawala,was going to Karbala with his wife Saida,daughter Lubaina,son-in-law Yusuf Jariwala and grandson Burhanubin. Saida,Lubaina and Burhanubin have sustained injuries.
Masanawala owned a hardware shop called Universal Bearing and Tools in Punes Ganesh Peth area and lived in Fatima Nagar. The ages of Masanawala and his wife could not be ascertained.
Lubaina and her husband Yusuf Jariwala,both 30 years old,live in Burhani Colony in Gultekdi. Jariwalas brother Mohammed Jariwala confirmed over the phone that Masanawala had died in the explosion.
Masanawalas nephew Khojen Bhanpurwala said,As far as I know,no government agency has contacted the family. I think the family will bring the body back to India.
The family had gone on the pilgrimage through a Mumbai-based travel agency.
Kishore Dhanwani,Masanawalas neighbour in Premanand Park in Fatima Nagar said,We came to know of the incident through someone who knows the family. He (Masanawala) was a member of the managing committee of our society. We have heard that his wife and daughter have suffered injuries.