AFRICA: Nairobi Mall Attack

September 23, 2013 at 1:00 am Leave a comment

At Least 68 Dead

Scores of people were killed and more than a hundred were wounded over the weekend (September 21-22) when armed Islamist militants attacked an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya.

Kenya (CIA World Factbook)

Kenya
(CIA World Factbook)

Police and Kenyan soldiers were still trying to secure the entire four-storey building and locate all hostages early today (Monday) after a night-time assault freed an undetermined number of hostages held by the gunmen, according to the New York Times.

Two groups of gunmen armed with assault weapons and hand grenades attacking the building from two sides Saturday shooting down customers and mall workers. At least 68 people have been reported killed.

Video from Nairobi showed complete chaos as the gunmen shot down men, women and children during the two-day rampage.

The al Qaeda-linked Somali group al Shabaab took credit for the bloody attack saying it was revenge for Kenya’s incursion into Somalia to punish the radical militant group which has launched several attacks on Kenya, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Last year Kenyan authorities said they had disrupted a major plot to attack public areas in Nairobi. Authortities also said they broke up another plot in 2007 to attack Western tourists. Tourism is the second biggest industry in Kenya and a big part of the economy of East Africa.

Nairobi Westgate Mall (2007 photo by Rotsee via Wikipedia)

Nairobi Westgate Mall
(2007 photo by Rotsee via Wikipedia)

The scope of the assault on the Westgate Mall — and its “eerie similarities” to the 2008 attack in Mumbai, India by militant gunmen  show that al-Shabaab “has taken its ability to strike outside Somalia to a new level,” according to CNN.

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Entry filed under: Africa, Counter Terrorism, National Security and Defense, News Developments, Pakistan, Unconventional Warfare. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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