Kenya Native Speaks On Mall Attack

6:21 PM, Sep 23, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- A Midlands professor is keeping a close eye on the mall shooting half way around the world.

"The killings of innocent people have caused a lot of pain for us," Patrick Mutungi said. 

Mutungi lived in Kenya for most of his life before coming the U.S. to teach math at Benedict College.

Over the past three days, he's seen acts of terrorism back at home.

"My wife actually saw the CNN news in the morning, she told me and I immediately rang my brother in Nairobi asking him what' is happening," he said.

On Saturday, gunmen entered the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi killing more than 60 people and taking hostages.

Mutungi's family in Nairobi was not affected, but they knew people who were.

"This one person had bullets shot in the leg. And it's a relative to one of our friends down there," Mutungi said.

An Islamist terrorist group named Al-Shabab has admitted to attacking the mall.

Kenya's population is predominantly Christian, but the country is also home for many Muslims.

Mutungi said Saturday's event has nothing to do with religion.

"Whatever has happened in Kenya is not a Christian/Muslim affair," Mutungi said. "It's just some people who are using the religion to further their own interests."

He also believes that traveling to Kenya will be much safer now than before.

"I think the government is out now to really protect the people and visitors that come to Kenya," he said.

Mutungi said this will be the beginning of the country's healing process. 

"Kenya is very resilient and they're still a united people.," Mutungi said. "I believe this incident even makes them stronger."

On Monday, Kenyan authorities say three of the extremists have been killed and they believe just a few hostages are left.

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