Anita Ashok Datar, a public health worker from the Washington suburbs, was killed Friday when gunmen attacked a luxury hotel in Mali. She is the only American known to have died in the attack, according to U.N. officials.

Datar, who lived in Takoma Park, Md., loved the fiction of Jhumpa Lahiri and Zadie Smith and was the mother of a young son, Rohan.

In a statement released Friday, her family said that of all her accomplishments, Datar was most proud of him.

“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,” they wrote.

She worked for the Palladium Group, an international development consulting firm in Washington, and had spent over a decade working on issues related to family planning, reproductive health and HIV in Africa and Asia.

New York Times