Police in Somalia arrested Omar Hassan, 60, after the children, aged 11, 9, 7 and 6, were killed Monday, Qadro Addawe told The Canadian Press.
The alleged slayings happened in the central town of Beledweyne, about 330 kilometres north of the capital Mogadishu.
Speaking from Mogadishu, Addawe said Hassan was a taxi driver in Calgary and had returned home a few months ago.
She said the children had never been to Canada, but had Canadian citizenship through her estranged husband, who had migrated to Canada 30 years ago.
"They were born in Kenya, but they were Canadian because the father was Canadian," she said.
A regional police commissioner told Agence France-Presse Wednesday that the children's bodies were found near a village and have been buried.
The news service quoted Col. Isak Ali Abdulle as saying: "The man handed himself in and is in custody now. I think he is not mentally fit but we are questioning him."
Addawe, 29, said she does not know of any motive for the killings.
She insisted Hassan was mentally stable.
"He had some health problems, but he had no mental problems."
Addawe said her own efforts to migrate to Canada had been unsuccessful.
A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa said they were aware of reports of "a possible consular case in Somalia," but said consular officials have not received a request for assistance.
Mohamed Jama, president of the Somali Canadian Society of Calgary, said he and others in the group don’t know Hassan. But he said they’re all shocked by the man’s alleged crime.
“The community is very sad about it. It's unheard of.”
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