The remains of the 29-year-old Chinese embassy guard who was killed last Sunday in a Mogadishu hotel explosion were shipped backed to his hometown in Jin’an, Shandong province and a memorial service was held in his honor yesterday.
Zhang Nan was an armed policeman stationed at the Chinese embassy in the Somali capital. He was one of at least 15 people killed when a suicide bomber drove a truck loaded with explosives into the blast walls of the Jazeera Palace Hotel, which accommodated a number of embassies in the city and was frequented by politicians and business people.
Zhang was posthumously conferred the title of “Loyal Guardian” after his death. Hundreds of people, including government officials and Armed Police Force officers, showed up to pay their respects to the officer as he was laid to rest on Sunday.
Zhang’s parents had also lost a daughter to cancer years ago. His aunt told CCTV reporters that Zhang had sent part of his salary back home when he discovered that his sister had been diagnosed with the disease.
He’d been deployed to Somalia in January 2015, and by April, had already suffered a gunshot wound to the chest.
“This was very sad and I offer my deepest condolence to the People’s Republic of China and to the family and friends of the victims. We are deeply concerned what with what has happened and were worried about the Chinese staff when the incident took place,” Mohammed Awil, former ambassador to China, was quoted as saying. “It has happened, but it will not affect our relationship between our government and China. It’s the opposite. It will strengthen the ties,” he added.
Watch the CCTV News report here:
[Images via CCTV]