Kenya mall attack

September 25, 2013 4:10 pm
Updated: September 29, 2013 5:38 pm

Canadian teen ‘struggling for her life’ after Nairobi mall attack wounds: aunt


ABOVE: Canadian teen ‘struggling for her life’ after Nairobi mall attack. Sean Mallen reports. 

TORONTO – One of two teenage sisters injured in a Nairobi mall attack underwent eight hours of surgery Tuesday to reconstruct her leg, and her aunt says she’s still fighting.

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“She’s in a lot of pain so she’s heavily medicated…not talking or anything…she’s still struggling for her life,” said Hodan Hassan of her 17-year-old niece Fardowsa Abdi.

Abdi’s sister, 16-year-old Dheeman, suffered from a gunshot wound to her leg and explosion-related injuries to arm, but Hassan said she is now out of hospital and recovering well.

The girls were grocery shopping at a supermarket in the Westgate Mall Saturday in Nairobi when the mall was attacked by members of al-Shabab – a Somali group linked to al-Qaida.

“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. I don’t care who they are,” said Hassan.

More than 60 people were killed, including Canadian diplomat Annemarie Desloges and Vancouver businessman Naguib Damji. Dozens more were injured, including the two sisters.

Watch:  Nuns visit a hospital treating the victims of the Westgate mall attack in Nairobi 

The Abdi sisters were born at St. Michael’s hospital and lived in Toronto until a few years ago, when their father, Ahmed Abdi moved the family back to Kenya to pursue business opportunities.

Hassan said the girls recently visited her at her home in Minnesota, and also travelled to Toronto this summer. Fardowsa is a high school senior and was looking for college opportunities in North America, said her aunt.

“She was with us here, I was persuading her, telling her that she should come to  Minnesota…hoping we can have her closer to us,” explained Hassan. “She wants to become a doctor.”

The girls’ aunt asked for prayers from Canadians so that Fardowsa can make a full recovery to be able to walk again in the future. Hassan said she’s been calling her sister and brother-in-law every few hours, and hopes the Canadian government can provide resources to help bring the girls home.

UPDATE 4:10 p.m. ET: Foreign Affairs spokesman John Babcock told Global News that consular officials have been in contact with the families and “continue to provide consular assistance as required.” Further details were not provided for privacy reasons.

Video: Investigators begin to uncover clues about how the Nairobi mall attack was planned. Global National’s Stuart Greer reports:

With files from Sean Mallen

© 2013 Shaw Media

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