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Indian-origin media personality among those killed in Kenya

Press Trust of India  |  Abuja 

Ruhila Adatia-Sood, a popular media personality of Indian-origin, was among 69 people killed when Islamist militants besieged a swanky mall in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

Ruhila was in the rooftop car park of Westgate mall as part of a team hosting a cooking competition for small children at the time of the attack.

She was married to Ketan Sood, who works for USAid in Nairobi, and was pregnant, media reports said.

Ruhila was a presenter on Radio media group's East FM and hosted entertainment on Kiss TV, E-News, Kiss 100 and X-FM.

On her Twitter account, Ruhila described herself as a "food lover, thrill seeker and a bungee jump away from sanity".

In a post on her blog, she confessed to her love for Indian food. She wrote, "It might have something to do with the fact that I am Indian...."

Her radio presenter colleague, Kamal Kaur, was helping with the cooking competition and was at the event with her two young children when they all came under attack from a gunman.

"A grenade was thrown at us and it went off. At the same time he shot at us. The bullet missed my son by just an inch; it bounced off the wall and hit the boy who was next to him," Kaur was quoted as saying by BBC.

"Then he (the attacker) came out again with his big rifle. My daughter kept whispering to everybody: 'Pretend you're dead! Pretend you're dead! He won't shoot...Pretend you're dead.'"

Kaur and her children managed to escape though her children were hit by shrapnel in their legs. "My daughter is very devastated because my colleague Ruhila...She was six months pregnant and she lost her life and we're very devastated about that...Very devastated about that."

Nehal Vekaria, a 16-year-old Kenyan of Indian-origin, was also killed in the attack.

At least 69 people, including two Indian nationals, were killed in the attack by militants belonging to Al Qaeda-linked Somali group Al Shabaab.

First Published: Mon, September 23 2013. 18:56 IST