Sunday, September 22, 2013

Israeli forces join Kenya battle to end deadly mall siege

Israeli commando force joins Kenyan military storming Nairobi mall seized by Islamist gunmen
DEBKAfile Special Report September 22, 2013, 3:12 PM (IDT)

Terrorist attack in Nairobi mall
Terrorist attack in Nairobi mall

AFP reports from a security source in Nairobi that Israeli special forces joined the Kenyan military in storming the Westgate shopping mall, Sunday, Sept. 22, to break the standoff with some dozen Al Qaeda-linked Somali Al Shabaab gunmen barricaded there with hostages for the second day. The death toll from the Saturday shooting-grenade attack has risen to 59 with 205 people injured.
debkafile, the only world publication to reveal the Israeli involvement from the start of the Nairobi mall attack Saturday, now discloses that the Israeli commandos were airlifted to Kenya when the Westgate mall was first attacked. Nairobi invoked a secret security pact between the two governments under which Jerusalem guarantees military assistance should the Kenyan government be threatened by a foreign force.
This was the first time Israeli special counter-terror forces have fought Al Qaeda terrorists face to face on foreign soil. The Israeli foreign ministery refused to confirm or deny any inovlvement in Kenya.
debkafile reported exclusively Saturday that the AQAP-backed Somali terrorists singled the target out to hit two targets – Kenya and Israel
After releasing Muslims, the raiders held onto an unknown number of hostages, some on the ground floor where Israeli shops are located; more in other parts of the seven-floor building. Unknown too is the number of injured and possibly dead victims, including foreigners, who are still trapped in the building. American, British, Canadian and French citizens were reported killed or injured in the initial attack Saturday.
The Kenyan and Israeli authorities have blanketed with secrecy the scene inside the mall, from which a barrage of gunfire and explosions were heard during the morning. Local police and special forces are trying to force the Islamist gunmen to surrender and give up the hostages.
Israeli security experts are known to be assisting in the operation.
The US sent a commando unit to Nairobi from bases in Italy and the UK, an advance counter-terror forward team. The Cobra cabinet is holding continuous sessions in London as the situation unfolds.
In Israel, no one in authority is willing to comment on the incident, despite Israel’s involvement. Three Israelis were reported rescued from the mall Saturday, but there is no word on any who may still be trapped there.
Since its creation in 2006, the Somali Al-Shabaab has maintained strong operational ties with the Yemen-based AQAP command for its long and bloody insurgency against the Mogadishu government. Our counter-terror sources report that the Somali wing receives training, munitions and medical care at al Qaeda’s Yemeni camps. They interact frequently by means of speedboats plying regularly between the Yemen and Somalia.
The scale of the Westgate mall attack, which was carried out by up to a score of well-trained fighting men armed with large quantities of ammunition, pointed to heavy AQAP involvement from the word go.
In the past, Al Qaeda has notoriously singled out American and Israeli targets in East Africa – the 1998 attacks on the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the 2002 assault on Israeli tourists in Mombasa.
However, the Nairobi attack was related to the present.
Al Qaeda’s eyes and ears in Kenya didn’t miss the military and intelligence assistance Israel renders Kenya for its operations against Islamist terror in two areas: The Israeli army and security bodies send combat equipment and provide tactical advice to the Kenyan units fighting alongside Somali government forces against Al Shabaab; and Israel’s intelligence agencies and police are helping the Kenyan government build a strong shield or barrier against the Somali war’s spillover, to guard against Al Shabaab opening up a second front to the rear of the Kenyan forces fighting across the border.
This protective barrier clearly sprang a large leak Saturday.
See debkafile’s first report on the Westgate Mall attack Saturday, Sept. 21.

Subject: [PK] MAN OF THE DAY

Inline images 1

Kenya minister says 59 killed in mall attack

Associated Press

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The Kenyan military remained in a tense standoff with Islamic extremists Sunday, as the toll rose to 59 dead, including children, and 175 wounded in the attack at an upscale mall, a Kenyan minister said.
Multiple barrages of gunfire erupted Sunday morning from inside the building where hostages are being held by militants. The radicals attacked the mall Saturday and remained inside throughout the night.
"The priority is to save as many lives as possible," Joseph Lenku said, reassuring the families of the hostages in the upscale Westgate mall. Kenyan forces have already rescued about 1,000 people, he said.
Ten to 15 attackers remain in the mall and Kenyan forces control the security cameras inside the shopping center, Lenku said. Combined military and police forces surrounded the mall in the Westlands neighborhood of Nairobi, which is frequented by foreigners and wealthy Kenyans.
Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga told reporters at the mall that he has been told officials couldn't determine the exact number of hostages inside the mall.
"There are quite a number of people still being held hostage on the third floor and the basement area where the terrorists are still in charge," Odinga said.
Somalia's al-Qaida-linked rebel group, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the attack in which they used grenades and assault rifles and specifically targeted non-Muslims.
Kenyans and foreigners were among those confirmed dead, including French, Canadians and Chinese.
A 38-year-old Chinese woman was killed in the shopping mall "terror attack," the Chinese Embassy in Kenya said in a statement Sunday. Her son was injured in the attack and in a stable condition in hospital, according to the statement posted on the embassy's website.
Nineteen people, including at least four children, died after being admitted to Nairobi's MP Shah hospital, said Manoj Shah, the hospital's chairman. "We have at least two critical patients currently, one with bullets lodged near the spine," he said.
The hospital continued to receive patients Sunday, he said.
Ghanain poet Kofi Awoonor died after being injured in the attack, Ghana's presidential office confirmed.
Kenya's presidential office said that one of the attackers was arrested on Saturday and died after suffering from bullet wounds.
Trucks brought in a fresh contingent of soldiers from the Kenya Defense Forces early Sunday.
"Violent extremists continue to occupy Westgate Mall. Security services are there in full force," said the United States embassy in an emergency text message issued Sunday morning.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said late Saturday that his government had sent a rapid deployment team to Kenya to help. Britons had undoubtedly been caught up in the "callous and cowardly and brutal" assault at the Westgate mall, said Hague.
The United Nations Security Council condemned the attacks and "expressed their solidarity with the people and Government of Kenya" in a statement.
There was some good news on Sunday, as Kenyan media reported that several people in hiding in the mall escaped to safety, suggesting that not everyone who is still inside is being held by al-Shabab.
Cecile Ndwiga said she had been hiding under a car in the basement parking garage.
"I called my husband to ask the soldiers to come and rescue me. Because I couldn't just walk out anyhow. The shootout was all over here — left, right— just gun shots," she said.
Nairobi resident Paolo Abenavoli said he is holed up in his apartment only 100 meters from the mall with a direct view of the entrance. He said he could see a dozen or more security forces inside a first floor restaurant.
"The battle is on now," Abenavoli told The Associated Press by telephone as the fresh gunfire broke out Sunday.
Security forces had pushed curious crowds far back from the mall. Hundreds of residents gathered on a high ridge above the mall to watch for any activity.
Associated Press reporters Tom Odula and Jacob Kushner in Nairobi, Kenya; Louise Watt in Beijing; and Cassandra Vinograd in London contributed to this report.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Israeli forces join Kenya battle to end deadly mall siege

Mr Ben Mulwa a Westgate Siege survivor on September 22,2013 shortly after she was rescued by Kenya Security agents . 59 people have died so far after gunmen attacked a city shopping Centre yesterday. PHOTO/WILLIAM OERI

In Summary

  • Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said 59 people were confirmed dead, while the Red Cross has estimated the number of injured at around 200.

By AFPMore by this Author
Kenyan troops backed by Israeli forces battled Sunday to end a siege in an upmarket shopping mall and free hostages held by Somali militants in an attack that has so far killed 59 people.
Sporadic gunfire could be heard as Kenyan security officials said they were attempting to kill or capture the remaining attackers and end the 26-hour-long bloodbath at the Westgate mall.
"The Israelis have just entered and they are rescuing the hostages and the injured," a Kenyan security source told AFP. The Israeli foreign ministry refused to confirm or deny its forces were involved.
Somalia's Al Qaeda-inspired Shebab rebels said the carnage at the part Israeli-owned complex was in retaliation for Kenya's military intervention in Somalia, where African Union troops are battling the Islamists.
Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said 59 people were confirmed dead, while the Red Cross has estimated the number of injured at around 200.
Lenku said there were still between 10 to 15 gunmen in the shopping centre. "We believe there are some innocent people in the building, that is why the operation is delicate."
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta had said in a televised address to the nation late Saturday that he had lost family members in the attack.
"Let me make it clear. We shall hunt down the perpetrators wherever they run to. We shall get them. We shall punish them for this heinous crime," he vowed.
The Westgate mall is popular with wealthy Kenyans and expatriates, and was packed with around 1,000 shoppers when the gunmen marched in at midday Saturday, tossed grenades and sprayed automatic gunfire at terrified people.
Security agencies have long feared that the shopping centre could be targeted by Al Qaeda-linked groups.
The attack was the worst in Nairobi since an Al-Qaeda bombing at the US embassy killed more than 200 people in 1998.
After a day and night of sometimes ferocious gun battles, security sources said police and soldiers had finally "pinned down" the gunmen. The Kenyan Red Cross appealed for blood donations and authorities urged residents to steer clear of the area.
"We are still battling with the attackers and our forces have managed to maroon the attackers on one of the floors," said Kenyan military spokesman Colonel Cyrus Oguna. "We hope to bring this to an end today."
-- Playing dead --
One teenage survivor recounted to AFP how he played dead to avoid being killed.
"I heard screams and gunshots all over the place. I got scared. I tried to run down the stairs and saw someone running towards the top, I ran back and hid behind one of the cars," 18-year-old Umar Ahmed said.
In the hours after the attack began, shocked people of all ages and races could be seen running from the mall, some clutching babies, while others crawled along walls to avoid stray bullets.
"They spoke something that seemed like Arabic or Somali," said a man who escaped the mall and gave his name only as Jay. "I saw people being executed after being asked to say something."
Kenyan police, troops and special forces then moved in and went shop-to-shop. Foreign security officials -- from Israel as well as the United States and Britain -- were also seen at the complex throughout the drama.
An AFPTV reporter said she saw at least 20 people rescued from a toy shop, some of them children taken away on stretchers.
Kenneth Kerich, who was shopping when the attack happened, described scenes of utter panic.
"I suddenly heard gunshots and saw everyone running around so we lied down. I saw two people who were lying down and bleeding, I think they were hit by bullets," he said.
"The gunmen tried to fire at my head but missed. I saw at least 50 people shot," mall employee Sudjar Singh told AFP.
Among the dead was renowned Ghanaian poet and former UN envoy Kofi Awoonor, 78, Ghanaian officials said, while his son was injured.
-- Shebab claim responsibility --
A spokesman for Shebab said the attack was retaliation for Kenya's nearly two-year-old military presence in war-torn Somalia in support of the internationally backed Mogadishu government.
"We have warned Kenya of that attack but it ignored (us), still forcefully holding our lands... while killing our innocent civilians," Shebab spokesman Sheik Ali Mohamud Rage said in a statement.
"If you want Kenya in peace, it will not happen as long as your boys are in our lands."
The group also issued a string of statements via Twitter, one of them claiming that Muslims in the centre had been "escorted out by the Mujahideen before beginning the attack".
Israeli interests in Kenya have come under attack before. In November 2002 there were two simultaneous attacks in the Mombasa area. A missile targeted an Israeli charter flight as it took off from the port city's airport, but missed.
At the same time a car packed with explosives smashed into the Paradise hotel, the only Israeli-owned hotel in the Mombasa area, as Israeli tourists were checking in. Ten Kenyans and three Israelis died.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she was "appalled by the brutal attack against innocent citizens" in Nairobi.
Paris confirmed two French citizens were among those killed in what it condemned as a "cowardly" attack. Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper said two Canadians, one of them a diplomat, were among the dead, while official Chinese news agency Xinhua said one Chinese woman was killed and her child wounded.
Two Indians and a South Korean were also among the dead.
The United States said its citizens were reportedly among those injured by the "despicable" act while British Foreign Secretary William Hague said there were "undoubtedly" British nationals caught up in the siege.
The UN Security Council condemned the attack "in the strongest possible terms".


Shoppers in Kenya mowed down by al-Qaeda operatives Kenya News.

Net Sunday 22nd September, 2013

A shopping mall in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi has been attacked by gunmen from an al-Qaeda affiliate. The attack occurred around noon Sunday at the Westgate Mall, where hundreds of people were shopping. Around 40 people were killed and 200 others were wounded after gunmen allowed some people to leave while taking the others hostage. Al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-linked terror group based in Somalia, has claimed responsibility. The gunmen initially placed themselves on the second floor of the mall, looking down on ground floor customers. Before throwing grenades and shooting into the crowd they allowed a number of people to leave. The gunmen told Muslims to stand up and go. The Muslim shoppers were then escorted en-masse from the mall before the carnage began, suggesting the attack was planned against people of other religions. A short time after the first killings police arrived and managed to herd the al-Qaeda militants into a small area of the mall using gunfire. Two gunmen were also killed during the attack. Kenyan officials have said the gunmen and some hostages are still inside the Nairobi mall. The Westgate Mall bills itself as the city's premier mall, boasting that it offers customers a "first world interior" and a "safe and serene environment." The mall has more than 80 stores and restaurants. The US State Department has confirmed four Americans were among the wounded, which included women and children. A spokesman for the US government extended sympathy and condolences to the families and loved ones of those who had been killed or injured, including the American citizens who were injured. Al-Shabab has been implicated in a string of attacks in Kenya in recent years. The group has been issuing threats against Kenya since the country sent troops into southern Somalia in 2011 and helped drive the militants out of the port city of Kismayo. Shabab has published a statement saying the attack on the Westgate shopping mall was "retributive justice" for Kenya's actions in Somalia. -

See more at:


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Former Nation journalist killed

In Summary

  • Mr Sang said the deceased was attacked as he waited for his wife Carolyne Risancho Kago to open the gate to the deceased’s house.

By PETER LEFTIE More by this Author
Former Nation journalist Mr Tony Kago was shot dead by armed gangsters as he drove into his home in Ongata Rongai shortly before midnight on Saturday.
Rongai Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPD) Francis Sang confirmed Mr Kago’s death in an interview with Nation.
Mr Sang said the deceased was attacked as he waited for his wife Carolyne Risancho Kago to open the gate to the deceased’s house.
“Mr Kago arrived at his residence just before midnight. The watchman, identified as John Kauki opened the main gate to the compound to allow Mr Kago to drive in. He proceeded to call his wife Carolyne on his phone to open the gate to his residence. As he sat in his car waiting for the gate to be opened, five gangsters accosted him ordering him to stop saying they were police officers. As he turned back to see who they were, one of them shot him in the back and the bullet was lodged in his chest,” he explained.
Noticing the commotion, the watchman charged at the gangsters who slashed him on the head and hands using a machete, Mr Sang said.
The gangsters also robbed Mrs Kago of her phone before escaping. One of the gangsters however suffered slight injuries after he was slashed by the watchman, the OCPD added.
Both Mr Kago and the watchman were rushed to the Nairobi Women’s Hospital in Ongata Rongai but the former was pronounced dead on arrival while the latter was admitted.
“We are appealing to all hospitals to report to the police any patient who goes for treatment with panga injuries, he could be the gangster we are looking for,” Mr Sang said.
Mr Kago was married to fellow journalist Caroline Risancho. A group Account Director at Public Relations firm Ogilvy, Mr Kago describes himself as a husband and daddy, and a media and PR consultant on his twitter handle @TonyKago.
Mr Kago’s colleagues visited the bereaved family at their residence Sunday to convey their condolences. He is survived by his widow Mrs Kago and two children.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Shopping mall is premier complex that’s home to international brands

The Westgate Mall in Nairobi where many were killed after gunmen stormed the busy shopping mall September 21, 2013. PHOTO/WILLIAM OERI
The Westgate Mall in Nairobi where many were killed after gunmen stormed the busy shopping mall September 21, 2013. PHOTO/WILLIAM OERI

In Summary

  • One of its most popular attractions is the 110,000-square-feet Nakumatt superstore.
  • The Kids Corner is a fun area for children while Planet Media Cinemas Complex and Media Store houses a movie hall, besides selling video games, DVDs, CDs, books and magazines.
  • Creamy Inn, Onami Restaurant and Sub Zone are just a few of other joints with branches in the mall.

Westgate Shopping Mall, the venue of Saturday’s massacre, is a premier complex frequented by wealthy locals and expatriates.
It is one of the many malls that have come up in Nairobi and the country.
The six-year-old shopping centre is located on Mwanzi Road in Westlands, one of Nairobi’s exclusive neighbourhoods, near another popular mall – Sarit Centre, and competing for the same customers with the Village Market, The Junction and Prestige malls, all in Nairobi.
Westgate, which sits on 350,000 square feet, houses more than 80 outlets that offer clothes, shoes, food and entertainment services. The cost of one square foot of retail space is estimated to range from Sh30,000 to Sh35,000.
One of its most popular attractions is the 110,000-square-feet Nakumatt superstore.
Waterfalls, gardens, golden railings, ornate lamps, marble stairway, escalators and panorama glass highlight the interior of the mall that houses international brands such as Nike, Adidas, Converse, Identity, Ivory, Kache by Angie and Woolworths, Mocca, Little Soles, Sir Henry’s and Mr Price.
A myriad services are available too: banking, pharmaceutical, photography, courier and beauty and dry-cleaning, with stores being open every day from 8am to 8pm.
Westgate Shopping Mall is a place where people all ages and races visit. This reflects the worldwide inclination whereby malls are developing into places of social comfort.
The Kids Corner is a fun area for children while Planet Media Cinemas Complex and Media Store houses a movie hall, besides selling video games, DVDs, CDs, books and magazines.
There is also the famous Millionaires Casino which boasts of 95 slot machines, 12 tables and a VIP Poker Room. The mall experience isn’t complete without the food courts.
Galito’s which sells grilled chicken and Pizza Inn are frequented by Nairobi residents.
Then, there is ArtCaffe which has four full-service restaurant cafes, two bakeries, an exclusive private dining room for events, and a mini café. The mall also house two coffee bars - Dormans and Java which are popular weekend hangouts joints.
Creamy Inn, Onami Restaurant and Sub Zone are just a few of other joints with branches in the mall.
However, yesterday wasn’t the first time the shopping centre has been associated with a security incident.
In July last year, two Iranian terror suspects were arraigned in court on accusations of possessing explosives. Ahmed Mohamud and Said Mausud had been found with 15 kilogrammes of RDX explosives.
International media quoted the Israeli minister who said that the two Iranians had planned to attack Israeli, American, British or Saudi targets inside Kenya.
Westgate Shopping Mall is one of several Israeli-owned businesses in Kenya.


Somalia's al-Shabab claims Nairobi Westgate Kenya attack

Eyewitnesses saw armed men in black, their heads covered in scarves, entering the Westgate shopping centre on Saturday afternoon

A senior figure in the Somali militant group al-Shabab has told the BBC it carried out a deadly attack on a shopping centre in neighbouring Kenya.

The gunmen have been cornered but an unknown number of hostages are still trapped inside Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall, officials say.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said 39 people had been killed, including some of his family, and 150 were injured.

Al-Shabab said the attack was in response to Kenyan troops in Somalia.

President Uhuru Kenyatta: "We shall hunt down the perpetrators"

There are about 4,000 Kenyan troops in the south of Somalia, where they have been fighting the militants since 2011.

On its Twitter feed, al-Shabab - which has links to al-Qaeda - said it was behind what it called the "Westgate spectacle".
Hostages trapped
In his TV address, Mr Kenyatta said security forces were "in the process of neutralising the attackers and securing the mall".

He went on: "We shall hunt down the perpetrators wherever they run to. We shall get to them and we shall punish them for this heinous crime."

He said he had "personally lost family members in the Westgate attack".


Kenya has about 4,000 troops in southern Somalia. They intervened in 2011 following attacks and kidnappings in northern Kenya near the Somali border.
The Kenyans were subsequently integrated into a larger African Union (AU) force of 17,000 soldiers. It has a UN mandate to protect the weak Somali government.
In practice this means the AU force - known as Amisom - attack al-Shabab where they can. But al-Shabab still control at least half of southern Somalia.
Al-Shabab respond to Amisom by mounting hit and run attacks. They say Amisom are invaders stopping their legitimate vision of creating an Islamic state.
Here in Kismayo, for example, the airport comes under regular attack by small arms fire suspected to come from al-Shabaab positions. The Kenyan army responds with heavier weapons to chase the attackers away.

As night fell in Nairobi, two contingents of army special forces troops are reported to have moved inside the mall.

A police officer inside the shopping centre told Reuters that the remaining gunmen were barricaded inside a Nakumatt supermarket, one of Kenya's biggest chains.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, the Kenya National Disaster Operation Centre said the number of hostages was "still unknown, but they are in several locations".

"The gunmen have been contained in one location, but there are hostages elsewhere in the vicinity who cannot access the exit," the centre said on its Twitter feed.

Upper levels of the mall had been secured, it said.

The attackers entered the Westgate centre at about 12:00 local time (09:00 GMT), throwing grenades and firing automatic weapons. A children's day event was being held at the time.

The BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner says a security source told him that at least one of the attackers was a woman who appeared to have some kind of leadership role.

Our correspondent says that it is unclear how many civilians are hostages and how many are in hiding.

Al-Shabab said on Twitter that the Kenyan government wanted to negotiate an end to the Westgate attack. But officials have told the BBC they intend to hunt the gunmen down.

One gunman was arrested and died of his wounds, Kenyan officials told the BBC. Four other gunmen were arrested.

Footage from inside the mall shows the aftermath of the shoot-out

Security experts are reported to have long warned that the complex, which is at least in part Israeli-owned, was in danger of being subjected to a terror attack.

Some witnesses said the gunmen had told Muslims to leave and said non-Muslims would be targeted.

"They came and said: 'If you are Muslim, stand up. We've come to rescue you," said Elijah Lamau.

He said the Muslims left with their hands up, and then the gunmen shot two people.

The correspondent in Nairobi for the Economist, Daniel Howden told the BBC he spoke to one man with a Christian first name but a Muslim-sounding surname who managed to escape the attackers by putting his thumb over his first name on his ID.

Al-Shabab at a glance

  • "The Youth" in Arabic
  • Formed as a radical offshoot of the Union of Islamic Courts, which controlled Mogadishu, in 2006
  • Previously ran much of southern Somalia
  • Lost some popular support by banning Western aid agencies during 2011 famine
  • Estimated to have 7,000 to 9,000 fighters

However, the man told Mr Howden that an Indian man standing next to him who was asked for the name of the Prophet Muhammad's mother was shot dead when he was unable to answer.

The BBC's Mark Doyle, who is embedded with the African Union (AU) mission in Somalia, says the AU troops attack al-Shabab where they can.

Al-Shabab says the AU forces are invaders stopping their legitimate vision of creating an Islamic state and respond by mounting hit-and-run attacks, our correspondent says.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said there would "undoubtedly" be British nationals caught up in Saturday's events.

The US State Department says it has reports that American citizens were injured in what it called "a senseless act of violence".

Two French citizens were among the victims of the attack, the Elysee Palace said in a statement.

President Francois Hollande "condemns the cowardly attack in the strongest terms and shares the pain of the family of our compatriots", it said.

Two Canadians, including a diplomat, are also among the dead.

Nairobi's mortuary superintendent, Sammy Nyongesa Jacob, told Reuters that Africans, Asians and Caucasians were among the bodies brought to the mortuary.

This is one of the worst incidents in Kenya since the attack on the US embassy in August 1998.

An armed police officer takes cover during a bout of gunfire outside the Westgate Mall At night descended outside the shopping complex, the siege continued

Civilians flee the Westgate shopping centre, Nairobi (21 September) Many of those who were inside the Westgate centre when the gun battle began managed to flee, but some were trapped.

Woman who had been hiding during the gun battle flees after armed police enter the Westgate centre, Nairobi (21 September) Armed police combed the corridors as terrified shoppers fled.

Woman who had been held hostage is carried out of the Westgate centre, Nairobi (21 September) This woman who had been held by the gunmen was carried out of the building in a state of shock by the emergency services.

Woman jumps down from air vent in the Westgate shopping centre, Nairobi (21 September) Some went to extraordinary lengths to escape.

Pregnant survivor and and two-year-old daughter This pregnant woman was separated from her husband and two-year-old daughter during the attack. She hid with about 20 others on the roof of the building and was eventually rescued by police and reunited.

Security forces secure an area inside the Westgate shopping centre, Nairobi (21 September) Security forces went from shop to shop to secure the building.

Soldiers from a special unit arrive outside the Westgate shopping mall Two contingents of army special forces troops are reported to have moved inside the mall as dusk fell.


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Saturday, September 21, 2013

World leaders condemn Westgate Mall attack

By JOHN NGIRACHU More by this Author
The attack at the Westgate Shopping Mall has been greeted with outrage and an outpouring of grief by leaders who promised to stand with Kenya.
From New York, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called President Uhuru Kenyatta and expressed his solidarity with Kenyans.
“The Secretary-General is following closely and with alarm the attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi. The Secretary-General has spoken to President Uhuru Kenyatta and expressed his concern as well as offering his solidarity as the Kenyan authorities handle the incident,” he said in a statement.
Mr Ban was reported to have been receiving regular briefings from his senior advisers.
From London, British Foreign Secretary William Hague was reported to be in contact with Kenyan ministers and authorities.
“We are aware of a major security incident underway at the Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi. We are in close contact with the Kenyan authorities on the ground in Kenya and at ministerial level in the United Kingdom,” said Mr Hague in a brief statement.
“The prime consideration at present is the welfare of members of the public caught up in this incident,” he said
Somalia’s president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud also sent his condolences.
"We in Somalia know only too well the human costs of violence like this,” the President said. “Our prayers today are with our brothers and sisters in Kenya. We also send a strong message of solidarity with the Kenyan government, our valued partners in the campaign to bring peace to Somalia.
"These heartless acts against defenceless civilians, including innocent children, are beyond the pale and cannot be tolerated. We stand shoulder to shoulder with Kenya in its time of grief for these lives lost and the many injured.”
Meanwhile, the management of Artcaffe, a restaurant at the mall, said all its staff had been evacuated.
“We are currently caring and attending to our injured staff, reaching out to their families, and praying for all those that have been harmed in today’s horrible events,” the management said in a statement.
“The Artcaffe Family is shocked and horrified at the incidents that have taken place today at Westgate Mall. As one of the many businesses affected by this heart wrenching attack, we send our condolences to every soul who was in the Mall today, and to all the families of those who have been hurt and injured."

Saturday, September 21, 2013

I saw five armed men and a woman: Officer

One of the lucky survivors at the Westgate Building Nairobi on September 21,2013 , were Gunmen took shoppers to hostage killing several people. PHOTO|William Oeri
One of the lucky survivors at the Westgate Building Nairobi on September 21,2013 , were Gunmen took shoppers to hostage killing several people. PHOTO|William Oeri

In Summary

  • He said the shots that were fired had a bigger impact than an ordinary G3 gun.
  • Mr Musungu described the assailants as heartless people who shot aimlessly. “One of them wrapped a white turban on his head. They were very young and the woman appeared to be lethal,” he added.
  • A security officer manning the gates at the mall said the assailants started shooting from the gate and gave them no room to do security checks.

A military officer who was inside the Westgate shopping mall narrated his ordeal as he tried to rescue shoppers inside.
“I was doing my shopping when I heard three gunshots outside. I shouted to those around me to lie down, this is a basic skill when dealing with such a situation,” Mr Frank Musungu, a Sergeant Major in the army, said.
According to Mr Musungu, more than five people, including one woman, entered the mall, shooting in the air and throwing the mall into a state of confusion.
He said the shots that were fired had a bigger impact than an ordinary G3 gun.
“They were not shooting to kill, they were shooting into the air to scare us away; I first thought that it was an ordinary robbery,” Mr Musungu said.
The officer said his attempt to negotiate with the assailants bore no fruit. “They did not listen to me, they were not talking, they were just shooting in the air,” he said.
An officer who was with Mr Musungu was shot after they identified themselves as officers. “He was shot and dropped his gun; I managed to carry him with me as I rushed him to an ambulance outside,” he said.
Mr Musungu described the assailants as heartless people who shot aimlessly. “One of them wrapped a white turban on his head. They were very young and the woman appeared to be lethal,” he added.
“They were very young but had no mercy.”
A worker inside the mall who identified himself as Jared spoke to the Sunday Nation on telephone from his hideout at 5.45 pm in the mall and narrated how he saw his workmate shot dead.
“She was at the cashier’s when these people came; we all went down and they confronted her, she did not object, she raised both her hands in the air as a sign she meant no harm but they shot her point blank. I saw her going down,” Jared told the Sunday Nation.
Jared said he managed to crawl his way to an enclosed room. “They do not know I’m here; if they do, I am dead meat as well. It is very cold here but I will hang in here until I am rescued,” he said.
Nairobi Senator Mike Mbuvi, who was among the first leaders to arrive at the scene, called on Kenyans to avoid speculation and wait for police investigations into the matter.
“I have confidence that the police will return normalcy here; I am deeply sorry for the families who have lost their loved ones and pray that the root cause of this will be established,” he said.
A security officer manning the gates at the mall said the assailants started shooting from the gate and gave them no room to do security checks.
“They started shooting in the air sending people scampering, they then went inside, we were outmanoeuvred” he said.
Security officers were last night still trying to rescue shoppers and traders and at the same time searching for the attackers whose number could not yet be verified.
Several other shopping malls around the city, including Nakumatt supermarkets, closed early yesterday over security fears.

I thought after the recent attacks and threats we would change our security operations, but no! Unprofessional officers fill the ranks. Nsis is only a preserve of special people doing nothing, the regular police is a unit comprising of individuals out to strike it rich through bribery and all sorts of extortion. We've not deployed the true 1% that understand security whether it pays good or not. There is no discipline in the supposedly disciplined forces. Think about it how did these people get into the country if they are foreigners, didn't they go through roadblocks or immigrations? President Uhuru Kenyatta should bite the bullet and Fire the old guards in the Security apparatus. We have competent people ready to work to secure the country for peanuts, just the thought of serving the nation gives them satisfaction. Assailants well armed with RPK's and or Mk43 machine guns will definitely scatter the police and army. In military circles it is said whoever shoots the most lead wins the war. We need to retrain and arm the police well, AKs and G3 do not cut it anymore.Other places M4 carbines and special tactic weapons are given to police in urban environments. I am disappointed with our Security apparatus especially the famed recce squad.

The NSIS and CID are very good when it comes to helping in stealing elections. where were they? Bure kabisa


Edwin Kemboi

A KENYAN SOMEWHERE MUST HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS COMING!!! I am sure that there is a Kenyan somewhere who knew that this was going to happen and just kept quiet. I am talking of the Kenyans at the Immigration department who in one way or another allow aliens into the country by granting them IDs and passports after receiving a bribe, am talking of the greedy Kenyans at our boarders who provide safe passage to aliens after being compromised, am talking of a greedy taxi driver who may have driven the terrorists into the Mall and kept quiet because they paid him well, I am talking of that Car Hire company that may have hired out their vehicle for this purpose just because the money was very tempting, I am talking of the Kenyans who may have hosted these

terrorists for the period they were planning this horrendous act, I am talking of the Kenyans who sold them or hired out their mobile phones for this purpose.
I am talking of that greedy police officer at the boarder who may have been bribed to look the other way and allow deadly weapons into the country, I am talking of that neighbor who may have overheard the planning of this terrorist attack and turned the other side. I am talking of the selfish and greedy Kenyans who allow drug traffickers to operate in our country for personal gains, am talking of those greedy policemen and women and the so called provincial administrators who arm and protect cattle rustlers in the Rift Valley to raid other communities in order to get cattle for sale locally or for export, just for their own aggrandizement.
If for sure you are a Kenyan and played a part in this, however small it may be, and is watching the mayhem, the pain, the suffering that innocent children, women and everyone else has been subjected to, then you need to search deep inside your heart and evaluate why you really live in this country. If this does not weigh on your conscience, then I have no other word for you other than to say that YOU ARE A DEVIL!
I am sure that this would not have happened if a Kenyan did not accept to be compromised with money to allow these gunmen into the country, provided them with guns, grenades, allowed the safe passage of these deadly weapons into our country and hosted them for the period they have been here. The sad this is that Kenyan somewhere played a part in this just for greed!!!
It pains that Kenyans have thrown their patriotism to the dogs for mere greed!!!
Ariel Shafatq Wanjala

Too sad.


Where were all those NSIS, CID, police, army...BEFORE the incident? What is that Brand Kenya CEO doing there complicating ops and talking about 'the God of Daniel'? Must she cease any opportunity to be seen? This the problem, the wrong people are in charge.

Magara Jarvis Muheirwe.
The entire world must rise up to fight these barbaric acts of terrorists esp. these so called Alshabab. May the souls of innocent people who were brutally murdered rest in eternal peace.

My Sincere condolences to the families of the victims. The root cause of this terrorist attack should be established in order to protect the life of innocent civilians. It is very sad to hear this story. RIP Dear Colleagues, until we meet again.



    Security in Kenya is very low people need to help one another when comes to such matters of taking peoples lives . Everyone must be vigilant to any suspecious thing like cars carrying bombs ,bags left unattended or armed people who are not authorise. Clear people who dont have IDs frm the city , foreigners who are idle they are the people who brings most problems in the country.



      I don't think so . They were not military .This is a calculated and planned attack.Those who have worked in combat areas , they have tactics. They have spied on this mall, and they knew very well the only dressing that will not be suspected is for the police or military.


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