Trini scholar killed in Kenyan mall terrorist attack

(Trinidad Express) – Trinidad national Ravindra Ramrattan was among several people killed in a terrorist attack and siege at a Kenyan shopping mall that entered its third day yesterday.

Ramrattan, who was awarded the President’s medal gold in 2002, was living and working in Nairobi, Kenya since September 2011. He was employed as a research economist.

It was reported that several people were killed and many others held hostage in an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi where al-Qaeda-linked militants attacked.

The Red Cross in Kenya said the death toll in the attack at Narobi’s Westgate Shopping Mall was at least 68.

The Kenya Defence Force posted on its Twitter account on Sunday night that “most of the hostages have been rescued’’ and that four security forces had taken control of “most parts of the building.’’

Ramrattan, of Monroe Road, Cunupia, attended Presentation College, Chagua-nas. He attained distinctions in mathematics, chemistry, physics and general paper at the Advanced Level examinations and was named President’s gold medal winner.

Principal Gary Ribiero said, “This morning we told the pupils at assembly and we had a moment of silence in his memory…, The pupils and teachers were saddened by his death. The school flag is at half-mast,” he said.

A Facebook page was created in memory of Ravindra Ramrattan last night.

An invitation was extended to Ramrattan’s friends and relatives to attend a service at the Buddhist Temple in Nairobi.

At the family home, Ramrattan’s parents Bisnath and Parbatie Ramrattan said they had few details on the events leading to the death of their son. They first knew something was wrong when Ramrattan’s friends called on Saturday to tell them of the attack at the mall.

The friends said they were able to escape along with hundreds of other shoppers, but could not find Ramrattan. The parents said they received another telephone call on Sunday night to say that Ramrattan had been killed in the mall.

The parents, business owners, said they were making arrangements to bring their son’s body home.

 

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