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Kenya Survivor in the Westgate Mall attack 'Smeared Herself In Blood'

By SkyNews | September 26th 2013

Adapted from SkyNews

A survivor of the Nairobi mall attacks has described how she smeared herself with a victim's blood to play dead and fool the terrorists.

Radio presenter Sneha Kothari Mashru said a teenage boy lying next to her died of his wounds as they hid from the gunmen at the Westgate shopping centre in the Kenyan capital.

"I realised he was shot, because he was bleeding," she said.

"So I pulled out (his) phone slowly and I tried to switch it off, it was all full of blood, and I tried to switch off the phone so that it could stop ringing (in case it alerted the attackers).

"So I took a lot of his blood, (as) much (as) I could and I tried to put it on myself. I put it on my arm, a lot of the teenager's blood, and while I was trying to put it on my hand I just realised that he had stopped breathing at that time.

"So I put it on my arm, as much as I could, and I covered my face with my hair, because my hair was let loose even then, just to pretend that I'm dead or probably badly injured.

"I would still love to know who he is and everything, because his blood probably protected me from getting probably more injured or attacked."

Meanwhile, the family of a British man Niall Saville who was injured in the attack have paid tribute to his South Korean wife, Moon Hee Kang, who was killed.

"The Saville and Kang families are devastated and heartbroken by the sudden loss of Moon Hee.

"She was very close to the Saville family and brought so much joy to all of their lives. She and Niall had lived in numerous locations around the world together, but they always had time for both families," the statement said.

"Moon Hee was a bright, loving, kind and genuine person who will be greatly missed."

Terror group al Shabaab has claimed its militants carried out a "meticulous vetting process" to separate Muslims from non-Muslims before killing dozens of men, women and children in the mall.

Witnesses had described how the gunmen rounded up those inside centre before asking them questions about Islam.

In an email exchange with the Associated Press, the al Qaeda-affiliated terror group confirmed its fighters specifically targeted foreigners during the attack.

"The Mujahideen carried out a meticulous vetting process at the mall and have taken every possible precaution to separate the Muslims from the Kuffar (disbelievers) before carrying out their attack," the group said.

It added: "Our targets have always been disbelievers, invaders and the apostate governments officials/troops who are allied with them."

The number killed in the attack is expected to rise from the current figure of 67, with speculation there could be additions to the six British dead.

Five terrorists were also killed in the four-day siege at the shopping centre, while 10 suspects remain in custody in relation to the incident.

Former prime minister Tony Blair told Sky News that terrorists are a "cancer" who will only be defeated by better education.

Speaking outside the United Nations headquarters in New York, the current envoy to the Middle East said Islamist ideology had created an enemy that was "insidious and venomous, but also difficult to beat".

"Unless we are educating people to a tolerant and respectful and open-minded approach to the world, then this cancer of these terrorist groups will continue," he said.

Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud has warned that such attacks may become more frequent as al Shabaab tries to reassert its dwindling power base.

"Some people sometimes mix the issues that Shabaab want an Islamic state in Somalia - that's not true. Shabaab want a unified state all over the world," he told Channel 4 News.

"They do not believe in borders, they do not believe in sovereignty, so their theme is global, it's not even regional. They may do this act again and again."

On Wednesday the group threatened that if Kenyan troops remain in Somalia, they must "be prepared for an abundance of blood".

Experts from countries including the UK, the US and Israel are helping Kenyan authorities with the forensic investigation at the mall. Explosives experts and sniffer dogs are searching for booby traps in the wreckage.

Newly-released pictures show a gaping hole in the mall's roof and mounds of rubble.

The devastation was caused after soldiers fired rocket-propelled grenades and knocked out a support column.

A Kenyan government official said the soldiers fired to distract a sniper so that hostages could be evacuated.


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