The death toll from the attack by Islamic militants on DusitD2 hotel complex in Nairobi has risen to 21, Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet has confirmed.
“We wish to inform that, as of this evening… six other bodies were found at the scene and one police officer succumbed very suddenly to his injuries.”
Mr Boinett said 16 were Kenyans, one Briton, one American; the nationality of the remaining three is not yet known. However, one is likely an Australian who met his death courtesy of love.
Marcus Rodriguez landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 8.40pm on Sunday, looking forward to seeing his Kenyan girlfriend Esylovians Meli.
Mr Rodriguez had first met Ms Meli, a university student and fashion designer, in 2017 when he first came to Kenya from Australia.
The 36-year-old Australian had chose a hotel in Karen, but his girlfriend was for the idea that he lives in a hotel nearer to the Central Business District. She settled for DusitD2.
It is at this upmarket hotel on 14 Riverside Drive that fate conspired to have the life of Rodriguez brutally snuffed out by terrorists who stormed the establishment on Tuesday afternoon.
“I regret making him change his mind. He could be alive now if I had not put my foot down on having him stay at dusitD2,” a distraught Meli told The Standard
The third year student at Kenyatta University said she insisted on the hotel because it was easily accessible for her from town.
“I checked him in on Sunday night”.
Meli was in class at Kenyatta University’s main campus on Thika Road. Her phone was on silent mode.She told After her class, she checked her phone and realized she had missed eight calls from her boyfriend. She called him back but could not reach him.
Meli said she went on line and that is where she read about the terrorist attack on dusitD2. She almost fainted. She boarded a boda boda to dusitD2 but the place had been cordoned off.
At a few minutes past 1am, Meli said she received a call from Rodriguez, who, in a hushed voice, said they had been marooned by the terrorists.The call lasted four minutes before he suddenly hang up.
There were gunshots in the background. That was the last time she heard from him.“We planned to travel to Naivasha over the weekend. He is gone forever. He did not even bid me goodbye.”