Zeenab Kassam, a Calgary nurse working in Afghanistan, has been identified as one of two Canadians killed in a hotel attack in Kabul.
CBC News and the Calgary Sun both confirmed Kassam's death through family sources.
Calgarian killed in Afghanistan identified by family as Zeenab Kassam #yyc— Calgary Sun (@calgarysun) March 21, 2014
Kassam's brother, Karim-Aly Kassam, told the Calgary Sun his sister had been volunteering as an English teacher to children for the past year-and-a-half in Afghanistan's capital city.
“This is not about the Afghan people, this is about a small, extreme minority of very dangerous people who’ve found a home in Afghanistan,” Kassam told the Sun, adding his sister was fearless.
“She felt safe, she was treated well ... I can’t believe this is happening.”
Kassam said the family's first priority is to bring his sister home.
A grieving relative told the Globe and Mail the family is "overwhelmed" by the news, adding they're "still trying to understand why all of this happened."
According to the Calgary Herald, news of Kassam's death has shocked the city's Ismaili community.
"We’re trying to maintain the family’s privacy while they have a chance to take in the news," said Temina Lalani-Shariff, a spokesperson for the Ismaili Council for the Prairies.
"Certainly the whole community is sending prayers and good thoughts to them. We’re very saddened over what’s essentially a human tragedy."
Officials say nine people, including four foreigners, were killed in an attack after gunmen opened fire at the Serena hotel Thursday.
Included in the victims is Vancouver doctor Roshan Thomas.
The Globe and Mail has confirmed both Kassam and Thomas were working for the Aga Khan Development Network.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird called it "brazen and cowardly," but that would only strengthen "our resolve to combat the scourge of terrorism in all its forms."
A Canadian analyst in Kabul told The Huffington Post Canada that the attack will hurt the democratic process in the country.
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