Anita Datar was a 41-year-old mother and American aid worker who was among those who died in the Mali hotel attack in the French republic in West Africa on Friday.
State Department spokesperson John Kirby issued a statement confirming her death on Friday.
“We can confirm that U.S. citizen Anita Ashok Datar was killed in Mali on November 20. We offer our sincere condolences to her family and friends. Out of respect for privacy for Ms. Datar’s family, we have no further comment at this time,” he said.
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) November 21, 2015
Anita Datar’s family issued a statement, too.
“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,” the statement read.
“[Anita] 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,” it continued.
A splinter group of Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack that killed Anita Datar, as well as at least 26 others.
Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the attacks publicly.
The @PeaceCorps community mourns the loss of returned Volunteer Anita Datar in the Mali attacks. Our thoughts are with her family.
— Director Carrie (@PeaceCorpsDir) November 21, 2015
“All those responsible for these recurring terrorist attacks must be held accountable,” he said. “These terrorist attacks will only deepen our shared resolve to fight terrorism.”
Anita Datar was born in Massachusetts and grew up in New Jersey. She served in the Peace Corps. She earned a master’s degree from Columbia University in Public Health, and used her education to help those in impoverished countries. She is survived by her son, her parents, and a brother.
Sending our deepest condolences to the family of Anita Datar, a US citizen from NJ, and to all of the families of the victims in #Mali …
— NJ Homeland Security (@NJOHSP) November 21, 2015
People from all around the world, but especially here in the United States, are holding the family of Anita Datar in their prayers.