The second Canadian killed in the deadly attacks at the Kenyan mall where Islamic extremists held hostages for two days has been identified as a Vancouver-area man.
Businessman Naguib Damji was one of 68 killed in the hostage crisis at Nairobi’s Westgate mall, his daughter, Karima, confirmed to Global News.
“The family is very deeply saddened by the tragedy and kindly request their privacy during this devastating time,” she told Global News.
Friends and family remembered Damji as “one of the most incredible people” and an “amazing soul.”
A Facebook post said he “did so much good for so many people.”
“I’ll never forget the way his face would light up with joy when he told stories of our family’s history and origins. A beautiful human being,” another Facebook post said.
Canadian diplomat Annemarie Desloges, 29, was also killed in the attack and three other Canadians, including Desloges’ husband, were injured.
Immigration Minister Chris Alexander condemned the “act of total cowardice, of barbarity.”
An estimated 10 to 15 militant attackers are in the shopping mall holding an unknown number of captives, said Kenyan officials.
Police said a major assault by security forces began Sunday to end the crisis and Kenya’s Disaster Operation Center said “this will end tonight. Our forces will prevail.”
By Sunday afternoon, officials said most hostages had been freed.
Kenyan security officials haven’t said how many people were held captive by the terrorists, but Kenya’s Red Cross said in a statement citing police that 49 people had been reported missing.
Somalia’s al-Qaida-linked rebel group, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the attack in which they used grenades and assault rifles and specifically targeted non-Muslims.
The attackers included some women. The Islamic extremist rebels said the attack was retribution for Kenyan forces’ 2011 push into neighbouring Somalia.
With files from the Associated Press
Watch: What does al Shabab stand for?