Phyllis Ouko sat on her wheelchair saying a silent prayer outside 14 Riverside Drive for about three hours waiting for her daughter who was holed up in one of the blocks after a suspected terror attack on 14 Riverside complex.
All was well for Phyllis until around 4.30pm when she received a call from her daughter that she was one of the victims trapped inside the complex.
Initially, from her daughter’s illustration, they thought it was a mere gas explosion considering there are a number of eateries around the facility, but after a few more calls, they realized that the situation was more complex than they had thought.
“She said there was a shootout. It wasn’t clear what exactly was happening by then.
“To her, it could have been a gas explosion since there are several eateries within the facility.” Phyllis as she narrated calls with her daughter to journalists before adding that “I am here for my daughter. What would a mother do?”
The last call she received from her daughter was at about 7.30pm on Tuesday night but the phone went off before they could talk and all she gathered was her daughter calling her “mum” before the phone disconnected.
Somalia-based Al Shabaab terrorists claimed responsibility for the attack on 14 Riverside Drive, where the dusitD2 hotel Nairobi and an office complex are.
The gunmen shattered the calm at the complex when they stormed in and shot indiscriminately, sending workers and guests scampering for safety.
Witnesses yesterday said the assailants had surveyed their target for two weeks.
Initial reports indicated that the assailants arrived shortly after 3pm in a car registration number KCN 340E, and hurled explosives at guards manning the complex.
The gang first shot and seriously wounded two University of Nairobi students who were walking out of their hostels.
The gunshots alarmed police guarding the Australian Embassy, some 100 metres away. The officers engaged the attackers in a gunfight, deflating the tyres of the saloon car the latter had used.