Saturday, 21 November 2015

Aid American Worker is First Confirmed Victim of Mali Attack

A mother-of-one aid worker has been identified as the American civilian gunned down in the Mali massacre on Friday.
 


Anita Datar, 41, had been working in Bamako, Mali's capital, as a U.S. envoy for international development firm Palladium when Islamist militants stormed her hotel on Friday morning.

Normally based in Washington, D.C., the New Jersey native who specialized in public health is survived by her elementary school-aged son, Rohan.

Datar's family said in a statement on Friday: 'We are devastated that Anita is gone - it's unbelievable to us that she has been killed in this senseless act of violence and terrorism.

'Anita was one of the kindest and most generous people we know. She loved her family and her work tremendously. Everything she did in her life she did to help others - as a mother, public health expert, daughter, sister and friend.

'And while we are angry and saddened that she has been killed, we know that she would want to promote education and healthcare to prevent violence and poverty at home and abroad, not intolerance.' 

Datar was one of 27 people slaughtered on Friday when Islamist militants stormed a hotel and took 170 people hostage for seven hours according to mailonline

Datar first worked in Africa as an aid envoy two decades ago, as a rural health worker in Senegal.
It was a two-year stint after graduating Rutgers University in 1995, where she read Psychology for her bachelor's degree. In 2000, Datar went back to school, to New York's Columbia University, to obtain an MPH in Public Health and an MPA in Public Administration. 

Earlier this year, Datar founded TulaLens, essentially a Yelp for health clinics in under-served communities.
Her high school classmate Tara Elms Henderson told the Washington Post: 'Anita was a kind, gentle, loving person. No one who knew her could say a bad thing about her. Ever. She was a special person.' 
Officials say notorious one-eyed Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar was 'likely behind' the massacre, for which al Qaeda has claimed responsibility. 

The rescue forces who eventually stormed the hotel after a seven-hour siege were met with scenes of horror: bodies piled up in pools of blood, the walls spattered with red.
Chilling pictures show bodies lying next to a lift, its doors kept open by the dead. It isn't clear whether they were trying to get out or in when merciless gunmen opened fire.

At least 27 - including a Belgian diplomat and one American - were killed by a group of jihadis which went on a deadly rampage on Friday, armed with grenades and automatic weapons, at one point holding more than 100 people hostage.

Automatic weapons fire was heard on the seventh floor of the 190-room Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, where it was thought as many as 10 militants roamed through the building, looking for guests and members of staff.

Two of the extremists have been killed, and all 127 hostages have since been freed - many running for their lives along the dirt track outside the hotel, which is popular with foreigners. Among those who fled the luxury hotel were three Britons.

The al-Qaeda affiliated group Al-Mourabitoun, based in the Sahara of northern Mali, have claimed responsibility for the attack, which began when the armed militants entered the grounds in a vehicle which witnesses claim had diplomatic plates.  

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