Sunday, September 22, 2013

Nairobi Death toll rises, Group holds about 30 hostages after attack

Nairobi Death toll rises, Group holds about 30 hostages after attack

The Islamist group Al Shabab holds about 30 hostages in the Westgate mall in Nairobi,  24 hours after an attack that killed at least 59 people and wounded 175. Death toll is still rising with two Canadians, French and Americans among the victims.

The attack started around 13h (local, 7am GMT) on Saturday, when 18 members of the Somali group invaded the mall throwing grenades and opened a shooting spree at targeted christians.

Since then, the mall has been taken by the Kenyan army, which, according to the government, managed to rescue over one thousand people. During the night, there were new shootings and a small explosion inside the complex. At dawn the siege the terrorists was reinforced with at least 50 armored vehicles.

The interior minister, Joseph Ole Lenku, reported Sunday that the radicals kept 30 hostages inside the mall, where they are entrenched. According to him, the Kenyan authorities have control of the safety circuit of the building and know where the group, but chose not to reveal "for security reasons".

The Shebab are linked to Al-Qaeda. On their Twitter account suspended in the night from Saturday to Sunday, they claimed to have "killed more than 100 Kenyan infidels (...) The battle continues.""Only the infidels were killed," they insisted, thus distinguishing Muslims from non-Muslims. The President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, has announced that "personally lost members of (his) family."


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