Two Toronto-born teenagers have been identified as the Canadians injured in an attack on a Nairobi mall, with a relative saying one of them remains in critical condition.
The girls are Fardosa Abdi, 17, and Dheeman Abdi, 16, who were shopping Saturday when the attack on the mall began, their aunt told The Associated Press. The older girl remains in critical condition, having undergone surgery for severe leg injuries.
The younger sister was shot in the leg, while an explosion injured her arm. A maid accompanying the girls wasn’t injured.
The girls are Canadian citizens who moved three years ago to Nairobi, where their father works in real estate.
“It’s really heart-wrecking to know that she may not be able to walk again because of the damage of what happened to her,” their aunt, Hodan Hassan, said from her home in Minnesota, which Fardosa visited in the summer.
“It’s beyond, I can’t even say hurtful, because it’s really beyond that right now.”
Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development has said it knows of two Canadians injured in the attack, but hasn’t identified them.
As they remained in hospital, Prime Minister Stephen Harper paused to extend his condolences to families mourning the deaths of Canadians Naguib Damji, 59, and Annemarie Desloges, 29.
Mr. Damji leaves a wife and three daughters, and is being remembered as a family man with a sense of humour. He travelled often between Nairobi and Vancouver, visiting the latter most recently in August.
“It has been very tough as we are a very close family and he was such a good person,” Canadian Senator Mobina Jaffer, a relative of Mr. Damji, said in a statement Monday. “Life is so fragile.”
Mr. Damji’s North Vancouver residence was crowded Monday with friends and family. As others looked on from behind her, a woman who answered the door said there would be no further comment from the family at this time. In a statement Sunday, the family said it was “deeply saddened by the tragedy.”
The office of B.C. Premier Christy Clark had no specific comment on the death of Mr. Damji, but a spokesperson said the Premier would be sending a letter of condolences to his family.
Ms. Desloges hailed from the Ottawa area, and comes from a family of diplomats. Her brother-in-law said Sunday evening the family wouldn’t be making any comment.
She leaves her husband, Robert Munk, a citizen of Denmark and Canadian permanent resident who was among the injured in the attack Saturday. His condition isn’t clear. Ms. Desloges also leaves her parents, sister and brother-in-law.
The pair had both lived in Ottawa, with Mr. Munk graduating from Carleton University and Ms. Desloges graduating from the University of Ottawa, after earlier attending Carleton. On Monday, flags flew at half-mast at both Carleton and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. Ms. Desloges joined the foreign service in 2008, and had been posted in New Delhi before taking the position in Kenya.
Mr. Harper paid tribute to the deceased Canadians in Ottawa on Monday.
“First of all, I want to once again obviously repeat our sympathies to the families, to the colleagues and to the friends of Madame Desloges and Mr. Damji, who have been victims among the many, many victims of a brutal and cowardly terrorist attack,” Mr. Harper said on Parliament Hill. “We will obviously work with the authorities in Kenya and our partners around the world to do what we can to hold those who have perpetrated this responsible.”
With reports from Stephanie Chambers and The Canadian Press