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Driver recounts horror of deaths in Nairobi’s Westgate Mall terror attack

By - Cyrus Ombati | September 23rd 2013 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

By Cyrus Ombati

NAIROBI; KENYA: A driver witnessed the horror of Saturday’s terror attack at Westgate Mall’s car park, where his four bosses were killed.

“They were asking our names and demanding that we read some information I couldn’t understand,” recounted Mwema of the cold-blooded murder of the Asian family.

Mwema says he survived because the attackers focused on his employers.

Two grenades

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According to CCTV cameras, the attackers threw two grenades in the parking yard and one exploded. Police later collected the unexploded one.

They used an automatic rifle to force open the rear entrance after lobbing the first grenade, which caused panic among shoppers.

Inside, they opened fire and began shooting shoppers after separating them based on gender and age, among other factors.

In the meantime, another gang was busy killing people at the front of the mall.  Most of the dead were shot as they dined at a café near the main entrance.

The attackers then walked inside the usually busy mall while shooting indiscriminately.

Among the people inside were licensed gun holders who, according to witnesses, tried in vain to confront the gunmen.

Space to shoot

“The gang was armed with rifles, which gave them an advantage over those who tried to engage them. This gave them time and space to shoot,” said a witness who was armed at the scene.

Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo is among those who arrived at the scene armed with an AK-47 rifle.

Police snipers arrived almost 30 minutes after the attack and were taken aback when their colleagues were shot.

Their main mission was to rescue the injured.

There were reports that a member of the president’s family was among those trapped but she was rescued unharmed.

Westgate Mall terror attack David Kimaiyo Nairobi
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