Canadian teen injured in Nairobi mall attack arrives in Toronto
Above: One of the Toronto teens injured in the Nairobi faces a long recovery and getting advance treatment at Sunnybrook Hospital. Cindy Pom reports.
TORONTO – The Toronto-born teen seriously hurt in last week’s mall attack in Nairobi arrived in Canada Sunday afternoon for medical treatment that may save her injured leg.
Fardowsa Abdi survived the assault, carried out by members of the Somalia-based militant group al-Shabab, but her leg was so badly injured doctors in Kenya said there was nothing more they could do to save it.
The 17-year-old girl was shopping in the Westgate Mall with her 16-year-old sister Dheeman when gunman took over the upscale shopping centre.
To view our full coverage of the Nairobi mall attack, click here
One of the assailants threw a grenade in Abdi’s direction. Her sister was standing in front of her.
Dheeman Abdi suffered an explosion-related injury to her hand and a gunshot wound to her leg, but her injuries were not as severe as her sister’s and she was released from hospital.
“The grenade thrown at my finger was actually directed at her and it went off on her lower leg,” Dheeman said in an interview on Thursday. “Her tibia is shattered and she has a lot of other fragments, huge pieces actually, all over her leg and stuff.”
WATCH: ‘A lot of people died in front of me,’ Dheeman describes the Nairobi attack.
“She literally doesn’t have any skin, any flesh or tissue on right leg. That whole tissue dead tissue, literally blown off by
grenade,” Abdi’s aunt Kissa Hassan told Global News in Nairobi earlier this week.
Hassan alerted Global News to Abdi’s return via text message on Saturday.
“She is going home tomorrow, yay. Thank you very much,” Abdi’s aunt Kissa Hassan told Global‘s Stuart Greer.
Adria Minsky, spokesperson for the Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular) Lynne Yelich, confirmed Saturday the Canadian government was working with the family to secure a safe return for Abdi, but would not go into details “due to privacy and operational concerns.”
Abdi arrived in Toronto at about 4:15 p.m., flying from Kenya, via Iceland and Gander, N.L. It’s uncertain who may have accompanied the girl on the voyage from Nairobi to Toronto.
Sources in Ottawa told Global News on Saturday the cost of the flight may be covered by the Distressed Canadian Fund.
Abdi will now be in the care of Canadian doctors and extended family still living in North America.
The sisters were born in Toronto and lived there with their Somali-born parents until four years ago, when they returned to Kenya.
Fardowsa Abdi is a high school student and had been looking at university opportunities in North America, said her aunt Hodan Hassan, who lives in Minnesota.
There were 62 civilians, including two Canadians, killed in the Sept. 21 terrorist attack — the worst on Kenyan soil since the 1998 U.S. embassy bombing in Nairobi.
Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the four-day siege, saying it was in retaliation for Kenya’s involvement with Somali government efforts to drive out the extremist group.
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