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Kenya Mall Terror Attack; Obama Addresses U.N.; Mall Attack Survivor Tells Story; Blackberry's Troubles

Aired September 24, 2013 - 12:30   ET



FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN CO-ANCHOR: As the deadly standoff at that Nairobi mall enters its fourth day now, more about the victims' incredible stories of heroism.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CO-ANCHOR: There are some amazing stories coming out.

Among the 62 people killed was a pregnant Harvard graduate. Her name was 33-year-old Elif Yavuz, a Dutch national who worked with The Clinton Foundation in the past, due to give birth in two weeks.

Her husband, an Australian man, was also killed.

WHITFIELD: He was an architect who moved to Nairobi, volunteering to build hospitals, free of charge.

Survivors are describing scenes of horror inside that busy shopping center. They say the gunmen went from store to store, firing at shoppers and then taking hostages.

HOLMES: Arwa Damon has our story.


SEEMA MANJI, MALL SHOOTING VICTIM: There's nothing that would prepare you. That feeling of, this is it. You're going to die.

I looked at her. I just held her close and I cradled her, in case I got shot, if there was a chance that she'd make it.

And I held his hand and I told him, I love you.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It had started out a beautiful day. Turnout exceeded expectations for the East FM radio station children's cooking competition.

Aleem and Seema Manji are the station's popular husband and wife presenting team.

ALEEM MANJI, MALL SHOOTING VICTIM: The kids are just running around in their little aprons, chopping up.

We heard a series of gunshots. We called everyone to the corner, all the kids, and the moms, and the parents and everyone, and we said get down, get down, get down on the floor.

And just as we did that, the gunmen blast a grenade to where we were.

DAMON: The blast sent slivers of shrapnel and glass into Aleem's eye.

A. MANJI: The guy with the white shirt spoke first, and he said, we're from Somali and we don't normally kill women and children, but then again, you've killed our women and children.

He's Kalid (ph) mixed and --

S. MANJI: Tall, skinny face.

A. MANJI: He just opened fire.

S. MANJI: I got shot here. I had so much blood everywhere. I thought she was dead, and I was holding a dead baby.

DAMON: They decided to take their chances and confront the gunmen.

A. MANJI: I am a Muslim. And I went up to him and I said the shahada. And they asked are you Muslim? And I said yes, I am.

And she was behind me with the baby. And he said, is that your woman? I said, yes.

DAMON: The storm of emotions so many here are going through is still so raw.

Janet Mukali's (ph) husband worked at the supermarket in the mall. As she cradles her granddaughter, she tells us how she joined the crowds that were waiting outside.

She was hoping to find her husband. She didn't.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But I hope, of course, and I do pray.

DAMON: There are so many that have not been accounted for, possibly including some survivors.

Janet (ph) clings to the hope that her husband is one of them. They've been married since she was 24.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is the love of my life.

DAMON: And she doesn't want to imagine what he might be going through right now.

She's heard more than her share of horror stories from those who escaped.

The Manji's radio station (inaudible) seventh months pregnant, was killed in the attack.

S. MANJI: Really, I was standing at the counter and she was like, oh, my baby kicked. So, Jasmine, she's like, oh, the baby must be hungry. So I told her to sit down and I gave her the other banana.

DAMON: They say the mall massacre had nothing to do with religion.

A. MANJI: Our religion preaches peace, understanding and humanity.

S. MANJI: My husband is Muslim. I'm not. My daughter is Muslim, and I want her to grow up to be a good Muslim.

DAMON: Arwa Damon, CNN, Nairobi.


HOLMES: It's hard to listen to, isn't it? Pregnant women, children, there for a cooking expedition, just horrible.

If you want to find out how you can help the victims of this senseless attack in Nairobi, go to

Right now, the Red Cross is on the ground, helping the victims and their families. There's even counselors there on the scene.

Team Impact is figuring out the best ways you, as a viewer, can contribute, if you'd would like to, at

All right, earlier, President Obama had this to say about chemical weapons in Syria.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: How do we address the choice of standing callously by while children are subjected to nerve gas or embroiling ourselves in someone else's civil war?


HOLMES: World leaders hope to answer, and we may get more details on the U.S. effort to take control of chemical weapons in Syria.

What we can expect, coming up next.


WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back to AROUND THE WORLD where we're keeping close watch on the United Nations today, world leaders there in New York for the annual meeting of the General Assembly.

HOLMES: Indeed, and a big deal there this week is going to be that resolution to get rid of Syria's chemical weapons and how that will be done and what will happen if it's not done.

Earlier, President Obama addressed the crisis in Syria in his remarks to the assembly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA: And in the past several weeks, the United States, Russia and our allies have reached an agreement to place Syria's chemical weapons under international control and then to destroy them.

The Syrian government took a first step by giving an accounting of its stockpiles. Now there must be a strong Security Council resolution to verify that the Assad regime is keeping its commitments, and there must be consequences if they fail to do so.


WHITFIELD: Our Nick Paton Walsh is live at the U.N.

So, Nick, tell us about the U.S., this Russian summit coming up later on this afternoon.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A quarter-past-four today, John Kerry will meet with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov. A lot on the plate for that meeting.

Firstly, there's the issue of how precisely would it be determined if Syria wasn't complying with the task it's given itself of giving up its chemical weapons?

A dispute between Moscow and Washington on that, Moscow wants that decided here, we learned, and the U.S. wants the body in the Hague, the OPCW, looking into that, to make that decision.

Then, of course, there's the resolution itself. It was pretty much agreed in Geneva there would be a U.N. resolution, backing up the framework those two men came up with for disarming Syria of its chemical weapons.

I understand from diplomats here that the text currently being considered is watered down, not as strident as perhaps the Americans, French and British would like. It makes a suggestion that Chapter VII, an important part of the U.N. charter, that suggests maybe force could be used if the resolution isn't compliant with it.

That will still be referred to in there, but it's not going to be as tough as some of the Western powers would like, soaking up slightly more of Russia's desires here.

So much on the plate of those two men in their meeting, though, Fredricka.

HOLMES: Looking forward to hearing the result of that.

Nick Paton Walsh there at the U.N., thanks so much. Let us know what happens.

We'll be bringing you all the details right here on CNN.

WHITFIELD: It's going to be a fascinating day in New York at the U.N. -

HOLMES: Absolutely.

WHITFIELD: -- so many different branches of diplomacy being reached out.

All right, the stories of survival, they continue from that mall attack in Kenya.

HOLMES: People running for their lives, one man taking cover in a flower bed outside the mall, just hoping he'd make it through after getting shot.

His story, coming up next.


HOLMES: Continuing our coverage of the attack of the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, we were saying earlier we were expecting remarks from the Kenya president, Uhuru Kenyatta.

Well, he has some made some of those remarks, clarified some numbers during that address on national television, said 61 people were killed. That's the official number from the government.

Six security officers, in addition, were killed. Sixty-two people are in the hospital, 11 suspects in custody.

WHITFIELD: And hard to believe, we're talking about a siege that now is in its fourth day, as well as a number of people still trapped in the building, according to the president.

And, of course, the president also saying that he is not able to confirm those reports that have come out of the last couple of days that a British woman or that Americans may have been behind the attack.

HOLMES: Yeah, he added that he is -- I think the government is working, in his words, to identify the nationalities of the attackers.

Of course, all sorts of rumors coming out, not helped by al-Shabaab themselves who tweeted that people of various nationalities were involved in the group that went in and carried out this horrible act of violence.

WHITFIELD: Horrible, indeed.

Now, dozens of families are still mourning their loved ones who were gunned down in that terrorist takeover of that Nairobi mall.

HOLMES: Yes, hundreds of people got out as the attack started. Many others were helped out by authorities. Our guest is one of the ones who got out on his own. His name is Ben Mulwa. He was at the Westgate Mall on Saturday for lunch with a friend.

WHITFIELD: Like so many.

HOLMES: So many people do every weekend. He heard the gunshots ring out.

And, Ben, we'll let you pick up the story. What happened? What did you think and what did you do?

BEN MULWA, NAIROBI MALL SHOOTING VICTIM (via telephone): Actually, (INAUDIBLE), Saturday was a Saturday like any other. And I happened to be meeting a friend of mine for lunch. And we were in the Westland (ph) area of Nairobi when we decided to drive across to the Westgate Mall to have our lunch. And everything seemed to be normal, actually. There didn't appear to be anything out of the usual until we reached the security check to proceed to the rooftop parking. And while our car was yet to be cleared to proceed, that's when we heard the first gunshots.

And what I remember, we felt like it was just another, you know, incident (ph) of maybe a robbery or police perusing crime (ph). So we didn't pay much attention to that. Unfortunately, the gunfire intensified for another two or three full minutes and it got so scary because everybody was running in all (INAUDIBLE) directions and we were not sure exactly what is happening.

At that point is when we decided to jump out of our car to run to some safety. And in my mind I knew probably if it's a robbery, then they continued shooting, intended to scare away motorists to create way on the -- on the main road that leads to the mall. So I didn't run very far away from where the -- we had left our car.

And from that point I saw again the security guards who were manning the entrance run in - run in different directions. And I clearly remember one of them ran and hid right next to where I was hiding. We were like literally (ph) like two feet apart. That's when I saw four men walk through the main gate and they were heavily armed because all of them had rifles, big rifles that they were holding. There's two that I saw clearly were (INAUDIBLE) machine guns. And it's a lot (INAUDIBLE) that -- it quickly (INAUDIBLE) my mind that this was probably (INAUDIBLE) I initially thought. And within seconds, actually, they began shooting at anybody they could see (INAUDIBLE) the security guard. That's when I saw two of them come in my direction where the other security guard was hiding. And within a fraction of a second, I remember the first gunman shooting the security guard right through the head and he fell down instantly.

Then in that flash of a second, (INAUDIBLE), the second gunman pointing a gun at me and, for a moment I think I almost blacked out because all I remember was a loud bang. But I was not (INAUDIBLE) exactly whether I had been shot or not.

WHITFIELD: Oh, my goodness.

MULWA: And in between that -- within those seconds, I could hear another shot but they seemed a bit distance to me. I guess it - they appeared to be in the background.

WHITFIELD: And, in fact, Ben, we're looking at a picture right now and we can see this photograph of your leg.

MULWA: (INAUDIBLE) be able to move myself. That's when I -- I fell myself on the ground and lay still. And -- yes?

WHITFIELD: And, Ben, I wonder, when all of this was taking place, as we look at a photograph of your injury, your leg injury from the firing of those weapons -


WHITFIELD: Were these gunmen saying anything? In some reports, they were shouting out orders in English, they were asking people to recite Muslim prayers. Did you hear anything like that?

MULWA: Yes. In between the conscious (ph), I could hear somebody count (ph) one or two (ph), but I could not comprehend exactly the language that they were using. It is something that appears to be like Swahili (ph), but I was not able to hear exactly what they were saying.

HOLMES: You went back to the hospital for a checkup today. How are you doing?

MULWA: Actually, the doctors are impressed at the progress that I've made because the wound has closed up quite a lot. There are two of them. Where the bullet entered and exited. And lucky I got a - a new dressing (ph). So I'm actually able to walk on my own now. So I think I'm making (INAUDIBLE) progress.

HOLMES: Ben, really appreciate you joining us. Ben Mulwa there. A lucky escape for you, but saw horrible things, a man shot through the head right in front of him as it all unfolded.

WHITFIELD: A horrible situation.

HOLMES: Yet another horrible situation.

WHITFIELD: Ben Mulwa, thank you so much for your time.

And we'll have much more AROUND THE WORLD after this.


HOLMES: All right. Of course, it used to be everyone had a Blackberry. I know I did. But those days, well, they seem to be over, really. And another sign of trouble for that company, they announced plans to go private. Shareholders have not been happy with the stock prices. That is an understatement. It's been plummeting in recent years. Well, Richard Quest is going to take a look at where the Blackberry went wrong.


RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was the essential device for the titans of global business and politics, the once mighty Blackberry. Even President Barack Obama vowed to hang on to his at all costs before taking office in 2009.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm still clinging to my Blackberry. They're going to pry it out of my hands. QUEST: At its height, Blackberry held a commanding 47 percent of the U.S. market. That has collapsed to just over 2 percent today. At its peak, Blackberry had a stock market value of $55 billion. Today, it's market value is under 10 percent of that.

The collapse of Blackberry has been stunning. The device maker was outdone by the likes of iPhone and Android, devices marketed directly to consumers, who loved their sleek design and user-friendly apps.

PAUL LAMONICA, CNN MONEY: Once you got to the level that iPhones and Android devices were something that people were bringing in to work and not just using as, you know, a personal device, that was really the death nail for Blackberry. Once it became clear that Blackberry was not going to keep that stranglehold on the corporate and government market, it just became very difficult for Blackberry to stay relevant.

QUEST: In a last effort to save the business earlier this year, Blackberry unveiled two much-delayed smartphones and a top-to-bottom overhaul of its operating system. The CEO, Thorsten Heins, touted the phone as a new beginning.

THORSTEN HEINS, BLACKBERRY LTD. CEO: This is one of the largest launches in our industry, and today is actually not the finish line, it's the starting line.

QUEST: The phones got good reviews. Their fate can be summed up as too little, too late. Sales were dismal. The latest billion dollar quarterly loss is largely because of unsold phones. And now Blackberry has announced its entered into a preliminary agreement to become private. Even if this deal is done, the company faces almost insurmountable charges.

LAMONICA: It's no longer in the glare of investors who are clearly impatient with the company's lack of a real strong strategy. But that being said, they're still burning cash, they're losing sales, market share's going down. None of that changes if they go private. All that changes is, we don't get to see on a daily basis the stock sliding.

QUEST: Blackberry's days as a public company may be over. It's struggle to stay alive just goes on and on.

Richard Quest, CNN, New York.


HOLMES: You have - you have one, don't you?

WHITFIELD: I had. And I did love my Blackberry when I did. But just --

HOLMES: Where did they go wrong?

WHITFIELD: Well, it just got smaller. The little buttons were just too tiny for me.

HOLMES: You got older. WHITFIELD: I have big hands. Huh?

HOLMES: You got older. No. No.

WHITFIELD: Is that it, my vision.

HOLMES: No, I - I preferred the little buttons -


HOLMES: But now I'm an equal opportunity smartphone Android and iPhone.

WHITFIELD: Oh, OK. Yes. Yes, I go for the smartphone but, you know, now I need a little touch.

HOLMES: Yes. We could go on, but they won't let us. So we've got to go.


HOLMES: Thanks for watching.

WHITFIELD: But still love you, Blackberry.

HOLMES: Yes. Yes. You were good back in the day.

OK, thanks for watching AROUND THE WORLD. Wolf Blitzer with CNN NEWSROOM.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Right now the world waits to see whether they come face to face, maybe even shake hands, President Obama and Iran's new president. They are in the spotlight here at the United Nations. World leaders about to have lunch in this room. You're looking at live pictures. President Obama will be there. We don't know yet whether the president of Iran, President Hassan Rouhani will attend. Could an historic meeting between these two presidents be in the works? Stand by.