Canadian teen wounded in Nairobi mall terror attack fighting for her life, says aunt

Steve Mertl
Daily BrewSeptember 25, 2013
Canadian teen wounded in Nairobi mall terror attack fighting for her life, says aunt

A Canadian teenager is fighting for her life in a Nairobi hospital after she and her sister were caught up in the deadly terrorist attack on an upscale mall in the Kenyan capital.

Fardosa Abdi of Toronto has undergone three surgeries — the last one eight hours long — to repair damage to her right leg and lower body from two gunshot wounds and the effects of an explosion, her aunt told the Globe and Mail.

Hodan Hassan, who lives in Minnesota, said bullets shattered the 17-year-old's leg and doctors fear that if she survives she may not walk again.

At least 72 people are reported dead and 175 wounded, 60 seriously, though CBC News reports the toll of dead and injured is expected to rise.

[ Related: Canada offers support to Kenya after mall attack, Canadians among victims ]

So far, the Abdi sisters are the only two Canadians reported hurt in the attack.

Two Canadians, diplomat Annemarie Delosges and North Vancouver businessman Naguib Damji, died.

Desloge's husband Robert Munk, a Danish citizen with Canadian residency, was wounded but was released from hospital.

Fardosa and her 16-year-old sister Dheeman were shopping in the supermarket at the Westgate Mall when Islamist terrorists belonging to al-Shabab in neighbouring Somalia stormed the complex. They began shooting and lobbing grenades, often singling out non-Muslims for death.

[ Related: Report of Canadian among Nairobi mall attackers renews concern about foreign jihadists ]

Dheeman Abdi was also wounded in the attack but her injuries were less severe and she's been released from hospital, Hassan told the Globe.

The Abdi sisters and their siblings have been living in Kenya for last two years when a job took their father there.

Hassan told the Globe that Fardosa was preparing to graduate from high school and hoped to return to Toronto or perhaps Minnesota to study medicine.

[ Related: Kenya attack: Why al-Shabaab live-tweeted the assault ]

“She’s in a lot of pain so she’s heavily medicated . . . not talking or anything," Hassan told Global News. "She’s still struggling for her life,”

The teens are Muslim and wore headscarves but were shot anyway despite reports the terrorists were sparing Muslims who could recite Qur'anic verses.

“My nieces are examples that Muslims were no different,” Hassan said. “ … I think they were just two young girls who got caught in tragedy. Monsters just got hold of them. That’s all I can think about.”

“Whoever did this to a 17-year-old and a 16-year-old and a whole lot of innocent people, I just pray and hope that they get what they deserve," she told Global News. "I don’t care who they are."