Saturday, September 21, 2013

‘All Muslims leave… we only want to kill non-Muslims’- Gunmen massacred at least 22 in Kenyan shopping mall targeted non-Islamics

At least 22 people are reported to be dead and 50 injured as a gun fight continues between police and armed men at a shopping centre in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.
One witness claimed gunmen told Muslims to stand up and leave and that only non-Muslims would be targeted. 

Killings: At least 15 people are believed to be dead, although police have not confirmed a death toll
Security guards were seen wheeling out bloodstained bodies in shopping trolleys from upmarket mall in the Westlands district of the city, witnesses said, after the attack that broke out at midday today.
Locals and tourists who had come out shopping on the sunny Saturday morning ran screaming from the building and cars were left abandoned as attackers threw grenades and fired AK47s.

Victim: Rescuers attempt to evacuate a man injured in a shootout
Over the course of an hour people streamed from the building, at least half a dozen covered in blood and clutching small children to them.
The Kenya Red Cross Society now says that 22 have been reported dead and at least 50 wounded.
At least nine people were carried out of the building bleeding from wounds to their limbs and two others were wheeled unconscious from the scene in shopping trolleys.
A young boy is believed to have been among those killed.
Kenya Red Cross Society Secretary General Abbas Guled said: 'The casualties are many, and that's only what we have on the outside. Inside there are even more casualties and shooting is still going on.'

                            Shootout: A police officer takes up position at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi
                           Gunfight: Police are still trying to escort people away from the site where fighting continues

Family mall: Customers who had planned a Saturday of shopping were forced to run following a shootout between unidentified armed men and the police
There were unconfirmed reports of two large explosions, with several smaller explosions. Two people were reportedly injured on the road.
'We have officers at the scene trying to get out the group shooting inside. They have not been located,' a senior police official said.
'Officers are approaching the situation with caution because there are innocent civilians inside,' he said.

Police say that attackers are holding hostages in the building, and other people remain hidden inside.
Manish Turohit, 18, who escaped after hiding in the parking garage for two hours, says he saw gunmen with AK-47s and vests with hand grenades on them inside the centre. 
Police initially believed the attack was an attempt by about ten armed men to rob a shop.
But Elijah Kamau, a witness, told AP that the gunmen had announced that they were targeting non-Muslims as they began their attack at the centre.
Now Nairobi police chief Benson Kibue has said it was a terrorist attack and the Kenya Ministry of Interior has said the shooting may have been an 'attack by terrorists'.

'They don't seem like thugs, this is not a robbery incident,' said Yukeh Mannasseh who was on the top floor when the shooting started.
'It seems like an attack. The guards who saw them said they were shooting indiscriminately.'
Somali's rebel group al-Shabab vowed in late 2011 to carry out a large-scale attack in Nairobi in retaliation for Kenya's sending of troops into Somalia to fight the Islamic insurgents.
The Somali militant group al-Shabaab had earlier threatened to strike the mall, as it is a popular destination for the city’s expatriate community. 
However, no one has yet to claim responsibility for the assault. 
One victim said that he had been shot by a man who appeared to be Somali, while others noted the gunmen were speaking in a foreign language. 
'The gunmen tried to fire at my head but missed. There are definitely many casualties,' Sudjar Singh, who works at the shopping centre, told AFP.
'I saw three of the attackers dressed in black and with covered faces and they were carrying heavy rifles,' said another witness.

Errol Fernandes, a Kenyan businessman said: 'There were two guys – they came in from the car park on the roof. One had dreadlocks, he had an AK47 and was firing randomly.
'I just ran into the café kitchen and then we all hid in the refrigerator, until we were told to run out of the fire escape.
'I'm sure there must be many dead and injured.'
'The gunmen tried to fire at my head but missed. There are definitely many casualties,' Sudjar Singh, who works at the shopping centre, told AFP.
'I saw three of the attackers dressed in black and with covered faces and they were carrying heavy rifles,' said another witness.

An AFPTV reporter said police and security guards were trying to secure a multi-screen cinema complex inside the mall where many had taken shelter. 
The reporter said she saw at least 20 people rescued from a toy shop on one of the upper floors of the building.
A shop manager who managed to escape said it had appeared 'the shooters had taken control of all the mall'.
Attacks by Somali Islamists in Kenya often involve gunmen armed with automatic weapons and grenades, with targets including bars, nightclubs and restaurants in various parts of the country.
There was a suspected al-Shabaab attack which left five dead and three injured at a restaurant in the eastern city of Garissa in January, and in August last year one person was killed and six more were left injured in the Eastleigh area of Nairobi on the eve of a visit by Hillary Clinton, then the United States secretary of state.
Last month 18 of the 19 US embassies and consulates across the Middle East and Africa were closed after a message between al Qaida officials about plans for a major terror attack was intercepted.
The Foreign Office says it is 'urgently looking into' the incident and has echoed Kenyan police with warnings to Britons to avoid the area.
Foreign secretary William Hague tweeted: 'We are in close touch with Kenyan authorities about the attack in Nairobi, our urgent priority is the welfare of UK nationals in #Kenya'.

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