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Two Chinese men rescued during Nairobi attack tell their story

By Liu Hongjie in Nairobi | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-01-17 17:29

The death toll from Tuesday's Nairobi attack has climbed to 21, along with five killed militants, Kenya's police said Wednesday.

Among the more than 100 people rescued from the DusitD2 hotel in Kenya's capital were two Chinese men, who were on a short business trip.

Before they left Kenya to return to China, they were interviewed by CCTV by phone. Here is their story.

Mr Mao and Mr Ji stayed in the hotel while on business. Around 3:27 pm Mr Mao was working in Room 317 when he heard a loud blast and gunshots.

He immediately told his colleague Mr Ji in room 315 to hide. As Mr Mao travels a lot he has received some basic counter-terrorist training from his company. He left his room to seek a safer hiding place without using the lift.

With the help of hotel staff, Mr Mao and Mr Ji hid in the much safer room 409, along with some other guests. There were 14 people in the room and they used a mattress to block the door and wait for rescuers.

The room was very dark and no one dared to make a noise. They could hear gunshots outside very clearly. Some women tried their best not to cry. They could hear windows being broken close to their room.

At 3:48 pm Mr Mao called the Chinese embassy's emergency hotline for assistance. The Chinese embassy immediately activated their emergency response and set up a WeChat group to keep in contact with Mr Mao and Mr Ji, guiding them on self-protection and discussing rescue measures.

The embassy also contacted Kenya's special anti-terrorist force for help. At around 5:20 pm Mr Mao received a message that the rescue team had arrived. At almost the same time, they heard someone knocking on the door.

As they were not sure who it was, the people inside became nervous. After confirming with policemen outside the hotel, they opened the door to see the Kenyan special force waiting for them.

They were then escorted to the ground floor and left the hotel from the front door. When they came out of the hotel just 50 meters away, they heard loud gunshots behind.

At about 5:50 pm the embassy's two bullet-proof vehicles arrived. They got inside and felt safe again. Other people were taken care of by the Kenyan rescue team.

The Chinese embassy said in a later statement there were no Chinese casualties in the attack.

This video provided by Mr Ji shows people are evacuated from the DusitD2 hotel in Nairobi

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