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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Ex-ambassador's son among dead in Nairobi mall massacre

Published 23/09/2013 | 04:00

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Trucks of soldiers from the Kenya Defense Forces arrive outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya
Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore and junior minister Joe Costello with former Kenyan ambassador Catherine Muigai Mwangi in Dublin last year
A woman wounded in the terrorist attack in Nairobi

THE only son of the former Kenyan ambassador to Ireland was among dozens killed by terrorists in a Nairobi shopping mall at the weekend.

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Mbugua Mwangi, the son of Catherine Muigai Mwangi who recently returned home following a six-year posting here, was killed with his fiancee, Rosemary Wahito, during the attack on Saturday morning.

Mr Mwangi is also the nephew of Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, and was the person he referred to when he said he had lost family in the attack at the Westgate shopping mall that killed dozens and left more than 150 injured.

The Kenyan embassy in Dublin last night said a book of condolences would be opened over the coming days.

Addressing the nation yesterday, Mr Kenyatta said: "I ask God to give you comfort as you confront this tragedy, and I know what you feel having also lost very close family members in this deadly attack."

The Department of Foreign Affairs said no Irish people had been caught up in the siege, which continued into last night.

GENEROSITY

Policemen search a man for weapons as he walked out of Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi September 21, 2013. Militant gunmen stormed the shopping mall in Nairobi on Saturday killing at least 39 people, including children, and sending scores fleeing into shops, a cinema and onto the streets in search of safety. Kenyan security forces were still locked in a standoff on Sunday with the al Qaeda-linked militants, who were holding an unknown number of hostages. Picture taken September 21, 2013.  REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic (KENYA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST)
Policemen search a man for weapons as he walked out of Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi September 21, 2013. Militant gunmen stormed the shopping mall in Nairobi on Saturday killing at least 39 people, including children, and sending scores fleeing into shops, a cinema and onto the streets in search of safety. Kenyan security forces were still locked in a standoff on Sunday with the al Qaeda-linked militants, who were holding an unknown number of hostages. Picture taken September 21, 2013. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic (KENYA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST)
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH 

Relatives and Muslim faithful bury the slain body of Rehmad Mehbub, 18, who was killed in a crossfire between armed men and the police at the Westgate shopping mall, in Kenya's capital Nairobi September 22, 2013. Islamist militants were holed up with hostages on Sunday at a shopping mall in Nairobi, where at least 59 people have been killed in an attack by the al Shabaab group that opposes Kenya's participation in a peacekeeping mission in neighbouring Somalia. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya (KENYA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST CRIME LAW OBITUARY) 

TEMPLATE OUT
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH Relatives and Muslim faithful bury the slain body of Rehmad Mehbub, 18, who was killed in a crossfire between armed men and the police at the Westgate shopping mall, in Kenya's capital Nairobi September 22, 2013. Islamist militants were holed up with hostages on Sunday at a shopping mall in Nairobi, where at least 59 people have been killed in an attack by the al Shabaab group that opposes Kenya's participation in a peacekeeping mission in neighbouring Somalia. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya (KENYA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST CRIME LAW OBITUARY) TEMPLATE OUT
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH
An injured policeman holds on to his wound as his compatriot searches through the Westgate shopping centre for gunmen in Nairobi, September 21, 2013. Gunmen stormed the shopping mall in the Kenyan capital on Saturday killing at least 15 people, according to the Kenyan Red Cross, and sending scores fleeing into shops, a cinema and onto the streets seeking safety.  REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic    (KENYA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST CRIME LAW TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH An injured policeman holds on to his wound as his compatriot searches through the Westgate shopping centre for gunmen in Nairobi, September 21, 2013. Gunmen stormed the shopping mall in the Kenyan capital on Saturday killing at least 15 people, according to the Kenyan Red Cross, and sending scores fleeing into shops, a cinema and onto the streets seeking safety. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic (KENYA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST CRIME LAW TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Mr Mwangi's mother said prior to her departure last month that among the highlights of her time in Ireland were the "generosity and hospitality of the Irish people".

"I have felt extremely welcome, I have felt very comfortable living here and I have enjoyed interacting with the very many people that have come to me," she told a newspaper.

Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore last night condemned the attack.

"I express my deepest sympathy to the families of the deceased and injured," he said.

By Paul Melia

Irish Independent

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