Nairobi Kenya Shopping Mall Attack’ Death Toll At 68, 175 Injured As Terrorists Hold Hostages

Sept 23, 2013 – Nairobi Kenya Shopping Mall Attack’ Death Toll At 68, 175 Injured As Terrorists, Gunmen Hold Hostages

The death toll of Westgate Shopping mall attack in Nairobi Kenya has rapidly increased.

It all started on Saturday when some gunmen stormed the upscale shopping in Nairobi.

As we speak the death toll has jumped to 68 while as many as 175 were reported injured.

Here is details of the current event in Nairobi Kenya;

Update, Sept. 23 at 2:30p.m.: The death toll from the attack on the upscale Nairobi mall has now increased to 68, according to the Kenya’s Red Cross. In a statement, the Red Cross said nine more bodies were recovered Sunday in a joint rescue mission. Meanwhile, the standoff continues at the four-story mall, where anywhere from 10 to 15 militants continue to hold hostages, reports the Associated Press.

Update, Sept. 22, 10:30 a.m.: Twenty-four hours later, the siege at the upscale Nairobi mall continues. Islamist militants are still holding hostages and the death toll has increased to 59 people, with at least 175 people injured in what is already Kenya’s worst terrorist attack since the 1998 US Embassy bombing in Nairobi, where more than 200 people were killed. On Sunday, there were “sporadic gun battles” at the mall as Kenya security forces tried to free hostages with little sign that the attackers were willing to negotiate, reports the Associated Press.

The assault by the al-Shabab terrorist group was a reminder of how al-Qaida’s proxy in Somalia is able to carry out major attacks with limited resources, points out Reuters. Al-Shabab quickly claimed responsibility for the attack, detailing on its Twitter account (before it was suspended) how it escorted “all Muslims” out of the mall that is popular with wealthy Kenyans and expatriates before the attack began, notes CNN.

The Washington Post and CNN say there are many as 30 hostages still inside the mall, citing Kenyan government officials, although other outlets emphasize the number is far from clear. Kenya’s Red Cross has said that 49 people have been reported missing.

“I am aware that many have expressed impatience over the pace at which the situation is unfolding,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a speech to the nation Sunday, “and while I empathize with your anxiety at seeing the matter concluded as quickly as possible, I ask also for understanding.” Kenyatta said his nephew and his fiancée were among those killed in the mall, making it clear he took the attack personally. “These are young, lovely people I personally knew and loved. Many of us have lost loved ones,” Kenyatta said.

The New York Times gets its hands on a United Nations security report issued Saturday that described the attack as “a complex, two-pronged assault” that included two separate squads of gunmen. The attack is seen as a particular failure of Kenya’s security forces that were not able to detect an operation that likely took months to plan. At the same time, it seems Western security agencies also failed to pick up hints of the attack.

Security experts had reportedly long warned that the Israeli-owned mall was at risk of a terrorist attack, reports the BBC.  Indeed, the Post says many Kenyans and expatriates had long voiced these concerns as well. Reuters hears word that Israeli advisers were at the scene Sunday helping Kenyan security forces end the standoff.

There were several foreigners among the confirmed dead in the Westgate mall. At least three British nationals died and the number is expected to rise, Prime Minister David Cameron said. The AP says confirmed victims also include people from Canada, France, South Africa, Ghana and China. Although U.S. citizens were injured, it does not seem any were among the dead yet.

Update, Sept. 22, 9 a.m.: The New York Times now has the death toll at 59, with 175 injured.

Sept. 21, 3 p.m.: As the death toll reached at least 30, with 100 injured, Somali militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack on the upscale Nairobi mall Saturday. On its Twitter account, al-Shabab said it was behind the attack and as expected, said it amounted to a retaliation of Kenya’s decision to send forces to Somalia in 2011. “What Kenyans are witnessing at #Westgate is retributive justice for crimes committed by their military, albeit largely miniscule in nature,” reads one of the Twitter messages. The group insisted “there will be no negotiations whatsoever” at the mall. (Slate’s Will Oremus has written about al-Shabab’s use of Twitter.) Officers are still searching the premises for the attackers, whom are believed to be holding as many as 36 hostages, according to CNN.

The State Department said it has received reports of U.S. citizens being injured in the attack but  did not release any further details, reports the Hill. Meanwhile, the BBC’s Frank Gardner says the Westgate attack is similar to the Mumbai siege of 2008, when numerous low-profile targets were attacked with the goal of killing as many civilians as possible. “That prompted a complete rethink in counter-terrorism in Britain, with the realization that the UK was unprepared at the time for such a determined attack,” writes Gardner.

Original Post, Sept. 21, 1 p.m.: A group of gunmen stormed into an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya that is popular with the city’s large expatriate community Saturday. At least 22 people were killed in what seems to be a terrorist attack, reports the Associated Press. There is no official word yet, but witnesses say the gunmen told Muslims to leave and that only non-Muslims would be targeted at the Westgate mall that was hosting a children’s day event. Hours after the assault began, soldiers and police were still searching the mall for the attackers and a police officer tells AFP that at least seven people had been taken hostage.

Police immediately said they suspected this was a terrorist attack with witnesses reporting that around five assailants were involved, according to Reuters. “They don’t seem like thugs, this is not a robbery incident,” said a witness. “It seems like an attack. The guards who saw them said they were shooting indiscriminately.” Suspicion immediately fell on Somali militant group al-Shabab that had previously threatened to carry out a large attack in retaliation for Kenya sending troops to Somalia to fight al Shabab militants in 2011.

Long considered “a beacon of stability in an often unstable region,” as the New York Times puts it, Kenya has become increasingly affected by the chaos in Somalia.

Here are some photos of the attack scene

nairobi kenya shopping mall attack

 

14 thoughts on “Nairobi Kenya Shopping Mall Attack’ Death Toll At 68, 175 Injured As Terrorists Hold Hostages

  1. To whom it may concern? please I beg u in d name of almighty God to please put down this.am not trying to tell u how to run ur media but is very very heart breaking.pls sir/madam am on my knees.those kids and their family member have been traumatized enough,pls let not make it a permanent pain for them.moreover when d cowards sees this it may motive the cursed tribe to act more whenever they come across it.pls am talking about d pictures not d write up. I hope I didn’t offend u with this?

    • @mr red I have seen worst pictures more than this on other sites. I think this media censored most of the pictures.
      What’ll u do if you see bloody pictures of killed children and some white women?
      I don’t see anything wrong with this picture it’s just giving us a pictorial narration of what happened to better relate with the story.
      May God deliver the world from this bloody religion called Islam

    • May God forgive you. Your comment shows your level of intelligence. The pictures should have been censored. Their faces should have been blurred esp. those of the children.

  2. Lord deliver ur Children from this religion Called islam. My muslims brothers, i want you to sit down and meditate abt ur religion, ask urselves why its all abt bloodshed? Ask urselves if fighting 4 ur god is just? If ur God is alive y can’t he fight 4 himself? How can God who shld be protecting his ppl, ad encouraging peace is doing d opposite, yes ur god is exactly d opposite of our most Heavenly Father, Christianity is the only way to God

  3. Mr kunle. red is not a bloody muslim,she is from a Christians family in Anambra state.my reason for asking that d pics be put down and not d write up is becos I lost a loved one in that senseless action.Red have no neighbour or friends who are Muslims why dis insult?whenever I look at those pics I keep feeling d pain my cousin must have felt as he lay dying there with no family or love ones to comfort him.I keep thing what he was thinking during his last hours.Mr kunle my cousin died like a dog without a owner and u sit behind ur computer guessing what??????????and this pics are a permanent torture 4 me but I forgive u becos I can read is far more different from I know and understand.I pray u don’t cultivate curse for urself without knowing it.

  4. @ Chinelo i asked d same question on d lasts 2 pages in this naijagist and a beautiful moron called gentle just like kunle took it to another level.Am very happy and relive that a lady understands me,as for d registered fools,may God have mercy on ur empty brains.when u read without understanding don’t be shy to asked for help instead of marketing d level of mentality.

  5. Kunle, u have no reason to insult Red. he only gave an opinion and its subject to being taken or left. i guess oluwaremilekunn has made a point as to reasons for the pictures. no one is happy with dis recent developments in Kenya n we pray God delivers dem from dis evil dat has befallen them.

  6. What type of religion is this 68,175 lost their lives all because of religion and these terrorist will be happy somewhere. Thunder fire of God of Elijah will consume them alive up to their unborn generations.

  7. red..am sorry if i must have cause more pain, but all the same Islam should be blame for all this and not the media..am sorry again and God will never let this happen again,and for that bastard that think they can just wake up one day and start killing innocent people God will Judge them.

  8. My beautiful friends in d house, I told u guys that I lost a loved one in d Kenya shooting,am happy to tell u guys that he made it.his friend who saw him fell and passed out thought he was dead & made d call to d mom who can called me in tears and confusion about d incident.he is now stable and expected to live.for those whose story was different,I know that sorry can’t heal or replace but am still very sorry 4 ur. lost.maybe a new project help might easy d pain u may still be feeling.

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