22 September 2013

Kenya: 'Don't Call Me Again, Just Get Me Out of Here'

Nairobi — A father has recounted how his son frantically called him seeking help as gunmen invaded Westgate mall on Saturday, shooting people at random and taking hostages.

Nahashon Mwangi was at his work place at Yaya Centre when he received a call from his son who was pleading with him to go and rescue him from imminent death.

The son was one of the hundreds trapped inside by the attackers.

Mwangi told Capital FM News how he wished he was dreaming after his son broke what he termed as "the saddest news of his life time."

"Dad, I have been shot in the neck and hand. I am bleeding; come and help please."

He became even more petrified when he tried calling him again but the son picked saying, "Don't call me again, I just want you to get me out of here. If they hear me talking; they are going to kill me!"

"I used like an hour to access the place. I was crying and pleading with the police to save my son."

"I remember shouting like a kid... crying and crying but all this was not enough for the tight security personnel's to allow me access," he recalled.

The son was only to be released five hours after the attack which left 39 people killed and 150 others injured.

His son was rushed to Aga Khan University Hospital where he is undergoing treatment.

"My prayer is that he be well. Why should these people do this to us?" he asked.

Another victim is Zipporah Wanjiru who works in the mall. She narrated the incident saying, "They were speaking some language I was not understanding. I could not understand anything but the sound of their voice was scaring."

Wanjiru says she hid under a table together with other five colleagues hoping they will not be seen by the gunmen.

"They were shooting without discriminating, it was like a movie seeing people sprayed with bullets like that," she said amid tears.

"I have never witnessed this in my life. Only God can heal us and our country."

One of the waiters at a café in the mall Titus Alede escaped unharmed but described the situation as horrible.

He risked his life by jumping from the first floor to escape, from "the death that I saw coming."

"If I am told to go back and repeat the same thing, I will be scared. This can only be termed as God miracle," an emotional Alede said.

"I was serving our client as normal and there was nothing suspicious until these men came," he said.

"They were not after money as they were shooting people without asking for anything. I remember them saying that you killed our people in Somalia, it is our time to pay back."

Rescue operations are still ongoing with casualties being rushed to various hospitals.

Copyright © 2013 Capital FM. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.