Thursday 22 February 2018

AT LEAST 39 DEAD AS ISLAMISTS CLAIM ATTACK

Press Association

AT LEAST 39 people were feared dead last night in the attack in Nairobi. The al-Shabaab group claimed responsibility for the atrocity that also left more than 150 civilians wounded.

The group said its fighters entered Nairobi's upmarket Westgate Mall at around noon and were still inside more than nine hours later. Kenyan military special forces had entered the mall in an effort to end the standoff.

The al Qaeda-linked Somali Islamist militant group al-Shabaab said yesterday that Kenya had received repeated warnings to pull its troops out of Somalia or face "severe consequences".

"The Kenyan government, however, turned a deaf ear to our repeated warnings and continued to massacre innocent Muslims in Somalia," the group said on its official Twitter account.

Kenyan security forces arrested one of the gunmen who attacked the shopping mall. Later it was reporeted that he had died of bullet wounds.

Nairobi's mortuary superintendent, Sammy Nyongesa Jacob, says at least 23 bodies killed in the attack were brought in, with Africans, Asians and Caucasians among the dead.

Speaking to the Sunday Independent from Nairobi, Anne O'Mahony, country director for Kenya with Concern, said the situation was "truly awful".

Two African members of the Concern staff were caught up in the siege, but both escaped. One described how at 11.30am local time the group of 10 gunmen entered the plush Westgate shopping centre and began "shooting as they went along".

Late last night, the terrorists had camped in the centre of the building where they came under fire from police and soldiers

Sunday Independent

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