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Fiji Time: 9:39 AM on Thursday 18 September

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Fijians in Nairobi safe

Torika Tokalau
Saturday, September 28, 2013

FIJIANS in Nairobi called each other to make sure everyone was safe during the Westgate Mall hostage takeover by the Al Shabab terrorist group earlier this week.

The takeover in which 67 people died shook not just the country of Kenya but the rest of the world; of the 67, 61 were innocent civilians and six soldiers of the Kenya Defence Forces. The takeover left hundreds injured.

"We called each other to find out if anyone was stuck there since it was our shopping and meeting place almost every weekend," said Daniel Yabakivou, a Fijian studying in Nairobi.

"All the Fijians were safely away from Westgate Mall since we were all at the Safaricom Sevens, 30 minutes travel from the mall.

"The Wainibuli family, Waqanivavalagi family, Yabakivou, Mr Maciusela Baleiverata and a British Army soldier Naca Draunidalo, who is based here in Nairobi, were all watching the rugby when the takeover began on September 20."

Mr Yabakivou said most of the roads in Westlands and around the Westgate Mall were still closed as investigations continue, leaving nearby schools closed.

"The government has advised people to be cautious since Al Shabab said they would continue attacks until Kenya pulls out of Somalia.

"All malls in the Westlands area remain closed until further notice and security has been beefed up across the country. There are military personnel everywhere."

Mr Yabakivou said Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta proclaimed a national mourning period, requesting people to wear black clothing today in memory of those who lost their lives in the tragic event.


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