I saw death but survived Westgate ordeal

September 22, 2013 4:57 pm


An injured soldier gets treated/AFP
An injured soldier gets treated/AFP
NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 22 – “I did not know I had been shot until I reached the MP Shah Hospital.

These were the words of Ben Mulwa a survivor of the surreal terrorist attack on the Westgate shopping mall on Saturday that left 59 people dead and some 200 others injured.

Mulwa escaped death by a whisker and was grateful to God that he lived to tell the tale.

With stark clarity, he described the attackers who he said were armed to the teeth with sophisticated weapons that rivalled those in a James Bond Movie.

“One of them had very long rifles. They were not just the small rifles and they even had two muzzles. I saw them shoot into the security cubicle and one of them had a belt of ammunition across his chest,” he recalled.

He stated that at that time, he fell into a trance-like state when one of the terrorists spotted him and shot in his direction.

One of bullets grazed his forehead and later on while at the hospital, he noticed that he had been shot on his leg.

“I saw the attacker and unfortunately he saw me too. He shot at me and the bullet grazed my forehead and hit the wall behind me. That is when I nearly blacked out but I heard two or three more gunshots in my direction. You can see the mark it left here,” he said as he pointed at his head where the hair had been sheared off by a bullet.

He explained that despite the shock and terror that gripped him, he played possum and as a result escaped with his life.

“I lay down still just next to the flowers but I could see the guy who was next to me just lying still. That is when they walked into the mall. Some of them went to the basement and the others went to the roof top. My friend who went to the roof top actually had to jump from the second floor into Peponi Plaza. He was injured on his legs but he was treated,” he stated.

According to Mulwa, the men had scarves similar to those worn by former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat wrapped around their necks.

He recounted that they aimed at security guards who they eliminated through shooting before accessing other parts of the building.

“When I was lying there, that is when I noticed I had blood on my foot. I did not feel anything so I thought that it was blood that splashed on me from another victim because I had not realized that a shot went through me. I managed to get up and switched off the car and removed my car keys and when police saw my leg bleeding they took me to MP Shah Hospital,” he said.

He stated that each of the four gunmen had a chain of ammunition wrapped around their chests.

It is not yet clear how many gunmen accessed the building.


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