Emiratis hurt in Prague shooting undergo major surgery

Husband and wife Ahmed Ibrahim Obaid Ali Al Ali and Rowdah Al Mehrizi were among those hurt in the mass shooting

Husband and wife Ahmed Ibrahim Obaid Ali Al Ali and Rowdah Al Mehrizi were injured in the Prague shooting. Photo: Brand Dubai / Umm Al Quwain Municipality
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An Emirati couple who were shot by a gunman in Prague have undergone major surgery for their injuries.

Ahmed Ibrahim Obaid Ali Al Ali and his wife Rowdah Al Mehrezi were on a winter holiday in the Czech capital with their two daughters when they were injured in the mass shooting.

Khalifa Al Mehrezi, a government official and Ms Al Mahrezi's brother, told Abu Dhabi TV that both suffered serious injuries in the shooting at Charles University.

He said Mr Al Ali has undergone two surgeries for gunshot wounds, removing bullets from his shoulder and the top of his collarbone.

Ms Al Mehrezi was struck in the chest, close to her heart, he said, and surgeons removed a bullet successfully.

The couple were with their two children, Maryam, 10, and Latifa, 8, who were not injured.

The family were walking around the university, one of Europe's oldest, when a gunman opened fire, killing 14 people and wounding about 25 more.

A delegation from Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority, where Ms Al Mehrizi serves as the director of marketing and corporate communication, visited the couple in hospital to check on their wellbeing and that of their daughters.

The visiting party wished for the swift recovery of both Ms Al Mehriz and Mr Al Ali, the director general of Umm Al Quwain Municipality, the RTA said in a message on social media on Monday.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Dubai's Crown Prince, phoned the couple this weekend to check on their condition.

Speaking to Ms Al Mahrezi, Sheikh Hamdan said: “Now we need you to recover fully and return to your country”.

On Saturday, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs, thanked the Czech Republic for their treatment of the Emirati couple.

He condemned the attack and wished other injured victims a quick recovery.

Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mualla, Ruler of Umm Al Quwain, also called Mr Al Ali on Friday to offer support.

The 24-year-old gunman, widely identified as David Kozak, was a student with no criminal record and no known links to international terrorists or extreme ideologies. His motive for the shooting was motive unclear.

Police said they “eliminated” the gunman on Thursday.

Kozak was said to have an arsenal of weapons including long-barrel rifles and shotguns.

Police are looking into unverified claims that he ran a social media account inspired by a Russian mass gunman, amid fears events in Prague could lead to similar attacks.

A minute’s silence was held at noon on Saturday in a national day of mourning for the victims, with Czech President Petr Pavel among those at a service at Prague Castle’s Gothic cathedral.

Updated: December 25, 2023, 6:12 PM