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American killed in Sri Lanka was ‘big-hearted’

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — An American man who was excited to be in Sri Lanka for his job with an international education company was among those killed in the Easter blasts.

Dieter Kowalski’s family in Madison, Wisconsin, was notified of his death Sunday. His mother, Inge (IN’-gah) Kowalski, told The Associated Press on Monday that she’s working with the embassy to bring her son’s body back to the United States. She says the family’s in shock.

Kowalski lived in Denver and was a senior leader of the operational technical services team for the company Pearson. CEO John Fallon said in a message on LinkedIn that Kowalski had just arrived at his hotel when he was killed in an explosion.

Fallon said Kowalski was big-hearted and known for jumping in on challenging problems.

At least 290 people died and 500 were injured in nine bomb blasts. Sri Lankan officials say the main attacks were carried out by seven suicide bombers from a local militant Muslim group.

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