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Vikingdad 09-28-2013 07:00 PM

Civilians Overcome Kenyan Shopping Mall Invaders
Take a look at this story! Way to go Kenyans!

This is the best paragraph:

It turned out they were not rescued by police forces, but by men from the surrounding community, mostly Asian Kenyans, who armed themselves and confronted terrorists armed with automatic weapons.
(On a side not: Asian Kenyans? Is that like African Americans or something? Do they call them AKs for short?)

Anna_Purna 09-28-2013 07:21 PM

Now if only we could just handle our own Kenyan invader ;)

dyslexic_llama 09-28-2013 07:53 PM

Asian Kenyans is a reference to the railroad workers that Britain recruited for the Kenya-Uganda railway in the late 1800's and early 1900's.

Most of them are Indian, and settled with their families in Kenya after the railway was complete.

Vikingdad 09-28-2013 11:11 PM

Here is the story as told by one of the civilian rescuers.


Abdul Haji, 38, was in a meeting at Yaya Centre when he received an SMS from his elder brother.

“Stuck in Westgate. I think it’s a terrorist attack. Pray for me,” it read.

It was a moment he had been dreading for two weeks after a local television station exposed his brother, an undercover counter-terrorism officer, in an investigative programme.

Since then, the family of Senator Yusuf Haji has been receiving threats and warnings from people believed to represent the Somali-based Al-Shabaab Islamist group.

Mr Haji quickly excused himself from the meeting and dashed to Westgate. It was almost 1pm on Saturday, September 21.

Al-Shabaab gunmen had stormed the mall a few minutes earlier and started shooting indiscriminately.

Mr Haji, a businessman and a father of four daughters, believed the feared attack had come.

“My instinct was that they had come for my brother and that they would later come for the whole family,” he told Daily Nation Wednesday. “I was motivated to go in and fight to save my brother and my family.”


A licensed gun holder and gun enthusiast, Mr Haji was introduced to guns by his father, the Garissa senator who is also a former defence minister and long-serving provincial administrator.

He grew up shooting at the Athi River range and describes himself as “very good with pistols”.

He had packed an SSK heavy blaster pistol with 14 rounds of ammunition. When he arrived at Westgate, sounds of gunfire and screams could be heard.

He teamed up with a vigilante group of about 10 people from Parklands neighbourhood who had pistols, two-way radios and bulletproof vests.

They then saw movements in the mall basement parking. Many people had been shot inside or outside their cars. Some were still alive.

“We must go in there and see if we can rescue some people,” Abbas Gullet of the Kenyan Red Cross said.

With some of the vigilantes offering cover, they crept into the basement and pulled out bodies and some injured people.

Then, together with two plainclothes policemen, they headed to the rooftop via the ramp using the wall for cover.

They ran into a scene straight from hell.

“I have seen bodies but I have never seen so many bodies of children and helpless women,” Mr Haji said. “It was a massacre.”

The people at the rooftop had been attending a children’s cooking competition. The floor was covered in blood, cooking oil and food. There was no gunman in sight.

Covering the entrance to the mall against attack, they summoned the Red Cross team to take away the dead and the injured.

It was now close to an hour since the shootings had started and the anti-terror unit had not yet arrived.

Mr Haji’s unarmed brother was hiding in a first floor toilet.

Mr Haji, another man and three policemen, one of them armed with an Ak-47 rifle, entered the mall and rescued some terrified people hiding in Java Restaurant.

Using the staircase, they crept down to the second floor, rescuing people as they went along, before reaching the first floor where they could hear gunshots.

The assailants were waiting for them at the entrance to Nakumatt and let off a volley of heavy gunfire. The plainclothes policeman with the Ak-47 was shot in the stomach. He hid behind a pillar and was later dragged outside over the Art Café railing.

Mr Haji caught a glimpse of two attackers. One of them taunted them in Kiswahili to come closer if they dared. Realising that there were two women and three children hiding behind a flimsy table in the line of fire, Mr Haji and his colleagues skirted around instead.

They went from shop by shop rescuing hidden people, some of them playing dead, until they came close to the Nakumatt entrance.

Police officers lobbed teargas towards the attackers in Nakumatt and used the lull to rescue the women and children.

The women were reluctant to risk the dash across the line of fire but Mr Haji told them to carry one child each and beckoned the older girl to run across. A widely circulated picture of the girl running towards Mr Haji is a portrait in trust and bravery.

It was now almost 6pm and KDF soldiers and tactical team officers started sweeping across the first floor. Mr Haji and his team of civilians retraced their steps to the second floor.

Here, they found more people hiding in the Burger Place restaurant. Many had been shot and some were dead.

At Barclays, they found customers hiding in the banking hall. The bank staff and managers had locked themselves in the vault. Mr Haji and his team rescued them too.

They also rescued “about 40 people” who had crammed into the tiny mall management office and were beginning to suffocate.

“There was a wave of heat when we opened the door,” Mr Haji said yesterday. After rescuing more people from the CCTV control room, he headed back to the top of the mall.

It was then that he learnt the teargas had helped his brother and others escape from the first floor. It was also when the enormity of it all hit him.

“The magnitude of it hit me when I got out. I had been operating on adrenaline and survival instinct,” he said. “Then I realised that what had happened was a terrible thing.”

Mr Haji has been having nightmares since Saturday. His wife tells him he weeps in his sleep and Wednesday was the first time he went to work.

“I am angry at what I saw, what those people did, and the claim that they did it in the name of Islam,” he said yesterday, insisting on being interviewed in a public place in what he said was a sign of defiance to terror. “I am a Kenyan-Somali and I am Muslim; Islam does not advocate violence. They are doing the opposite of what Islam teaches,” he said.

He, however, is a reluctant hero. “I don’t feel like a hero at all. That girl who ran towards me is brave. That’s bravery. I don’t think I was that brave at her age but if I could save lives, I could do it again.”


nchunt101 09-30-2013 11:55 AM


Originally Posted by Vikingdad (Post 1386626)

I was reading the article and googled SSK heavy Blaster Pistol out of curiosity. The SSK is what Han Solo carried in Star Wars---I wonder if this is some media joke. It pisses me off that when a gun is used in a positive way they have to do this.

eatmydust 09-30-2013 12:17 PM

The world needs more good guys with guns!

CrazedJava 09-30-2013 01:15 PM

Kind of puts a dent in the old gun control arguments about "trained professionals only".

Vikingdad 10-01-2013 12:49 AM


Originally Posted by nchunt101 (Post 1388344)
I was reading the article and googled SSK heavy Blaster Pistol out of curiosity. The SSK is what Han Solo carried in Star Wars---I wonder if this is some media joke. It pisses me off that when a gun is used in a positive way they have to do this.

Maybe the Daily Nation is like the Onion? That would be disappointing.

AIKIJUTSU 10-01-2013 02:51 PM

The Muslim terrorists, no matter what they call themselves, no matter what religion they use as their excuse, are nothing but a gang of thugs who want to control everything they can grab and gain wealth and power for their guru of the moment.
Thank goodness there were armed civilians who could help people escape.

orangello 10-01-2013 04:01 PM


Originally Posted by nchunt101 (Post 1388344)
I was reading the article and googled SSK heavy Blaster Pistol out of curiosity. The SSK is what Han Solo carried in Star Wars---I wonder if this is some media joke. It pisses me off that when a gun is used in a positive way they have to do this.

I wondered about the same thing.


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