The Jains, silent heroes of Nairobi mall attack response
NAIROBI (AFP) - As a jihadist commando sowed death and horror inside Westgate mall last week, Nairobi's Jains became the silent heroes of the days-long emergency effort.
The Jain community, whose small Indian religion upholds non-violence as a sacred principle, opened their doors at the onset of the attack on Sept 21 claimed by Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab group.
As the crackle of gunshots filled the air, the Oshwal religious centre just 100 metres away was a haven where survivors, relatives, security forces and journalists were sheltered, treated, counselled and fed.
"We have a lot of space and numerous parking places," said Bhupendra Shah, a senior member of the Visa Oshwal community.