Kin of Saudi attack victim in state of shock

Fakir Balaji

Bangalore, May 31:

The family of Lawrence Gregory Monis, who was killed in a terror attack in Al Khobar in Saudi Arabia over the weekend, is in a state of shock and disbelief. Monis, 46, was shot dead by Al Qaida linked terrorists in Al Khobar. According to family sources, his widow Wilma Monis left Bangalore last night with a relative for Saudi Arabia via Mumbai to bring his body to India, a process that might take three or four days. His son Allen Lewellyn, 17, and daughter Samantha, 15, live here with their mother and aunt Agnes. Monis’ aged parents Antony and Christine live in Madhanthyar, 300 km from here.

A family source said Monis was due to visit India in June for a holiday with his wife and children at Bangalore and Mangalore. “We are yet to come to terms with the tragic event and that he is no more. It’s unbelievable. We think it is a case of mistaken identity as he looked very much a Westerner because of his fair complexion,” said one of his six sisters, Winnie.

Monis, who was working as assistant general manager with the Al-Sakhar Insurance firm at Al Khobar, had been living in the Saudi kingdom for two decades. He was shot dead at a traffic point in the Al Khobar Oasis residential complex on Saturday when he was driving to his office in a Honda Accord.

Bathroom provides refuge

DUBAI: An Indian man has told how he hid in a bathroom for 25 hours and survived the Saudi hostage drama which left 22 people dead. “It was traumatic,” 45-year-old Baskar Venkataramani told Sunday’s Gulf News after he flew home to Dubai. “The ordeal started at around 6:30 am on Saturday when I got an alert from the receptionist at the Oasis residential resort to lock myself in the room,” said the senior employee of a Western computer firm.

“I piled up mattresses and pillows to save myself from bullets. I never imagined that I would see my family again,” he told the daily. “I once peeped through the keyhole and saw the militants. Most were wearing masks,” he said. — AFP