As the death toll of the al-Qaeda attack on civilians in an upscale Nairobi shopping mall continues to rise, it is now being reported that a Canadian diplomat is among the dead, as reported by both Sky News (of London, UK) on Sept. 22, 2013, and The Globe and Mail (of Toronto, Canada) on Sept 21, 2013.
With the death toll now at 59 but expected to rise as Kenyan forces are still battling jihadi terrorists, the Canadian Embassy in Nairobi has announced that two Canadian citizens were among the dead.
29-year-old diplomat Annemarie Desloges was off duty shopping with her husband, Robert Munk, at Nairobi’s upscale Westgate Mall when the attack was launched.
According to an Ottawa press release, Desloges worked with Citizenship and Immigration Canada and served at Canada’s High Commission in Kenya as a liaison officer with the Canada Border Services Agency.
Her husband was also wounded in the attack but has since been released from a local hospital.
Personal information for a second Canadian killed is yet to be released by both the Canadian Embassy and federal government pending notification of next of kin back home, and understandably, privacy concerns for the family of the deceased.
A British Foreign Office spokesman said three Britons were among those killed and warned the number is likely to rise.
Non-Muslims Targeted for Death…
In response to the Kenyan government’s efforts at peace-keeping missions in war-torn and Islamist terrorist domination of the failed nation of Somalia, the al-Qaeda affiliate in East Africa al-Shabaab has since vowed revenge on both the Kenyan government and the Kenyan people, at least the non-Muslim citizens.
In the wake of the attack on unarmed civilians, al-Shabaab has taken to the internet taking claim for the assault.
According to multiple reports, 10 to 15 armed terrorists assaulted the Westgate Mall with explosives, pistols, and shoulder-fired weapons killing 59 and wounding at least 175, but a solid count is impossible at press time due to the battle still raging in the once tony shopping center frequented by wealthy Kenyans and foreigners alike.
The Kenyan Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Lenku reported to his country and the world that approximately 1,000 people have been rescued so far by Kenyan troops and Nairobi police.
According to survivors, gunmen asked the victims they had cornered if they were Muslim. Those who answered yes were free to go, several witnesses said. The non-Muslims were not.
Survivors also related that some of the hostages were shot in the head execution-style after failing to recite a Muslim prayer at gunpoint. Others were mowed down by automatic machine gun fire at the entrance to the mall as they tried to escape.
Saadia Ahmed, a radio presenter from Nairobi caught up in the attack, said the attackers released people who were able to prove they were Muslim. Ahmed was quoted:
I witnessed a few people get up and say something in Arabic and the gunmen let them go.
A colleague of mine said he was Muslim and recited something in Arabic and they let him go as well.
At press time, Kenyan troops are still fighting the terrorists cornered in one end of the mall. The jihadists still hold an unknown number of hostages.