Kenya Westgate mall siege:68 confirmed dead

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Heavy gunfire and explosions were heard this morning at the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi where militants are believed to be holding a number of hostages, BBC reports.

The Independent

Sixty-eight people have been killed and more than 170 injured since the attack began on Saturday.

Between 10 and 15 attackers – thought to be militants from the Somali al-Shabab movement – are still inside the Westgate shopping centre.

Reporters at the scene said there had been heavy and rapid bursts of fire.

An unnamed Kenyan security source told the AFP news agency that an army assault was underway.

An AFP correspondent at the scene said he heard about 15 minutes of fierce gunfire which then subsided.

The defence forces said on Twitter several hours ago: “All efforts are under way to bring this matter to a speedy conclusion.”

Authorities have emphasised that it is a delicate operation as the safe rescue of the hostages is their top priority.

In a news conference on Sunday, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said the country was united and strong in adversity.

“The criminals are now located in one place within the building,” he said.

“With the professionals on site, we have as good a chance to neutralise the terrorists as we could hope for,” he said.

Mr Kenyatta said his nephew and the man’s fiancee were among the dead.

The UK Foreign Office has confirmed that three Britons have been killed, and says the number is likely to rise.

British Prime Minister David Cameron called it “an absolutely sickening and despicable attack of appalling brutality”.

US President Barack Obama called President Kenyatta on Sunday to express condolences and reiterate “US support for Kenya’s efforts to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice”.

The wife of an American working for the US Agency for International Development was killed, US officials said.

Prominent Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor – who was attending a literary festival in Nairobi – also died, as did a Chinese woman.

French, Dutch, South African, Indian and Canadian nationals are also among the foreigners confirmed killed, along with a dual Australian-British national.

Elsewhere, Reuters reports Judges at the International Criminal Court on Monday adjourned the trial of Kenyan Vice President William Ruto for a week to allow him to return home and deal with the hostage crisis at the Westgate Nairobi mall.

5 COMMENTS

  1. QUOTE “Reuters reports Judges at the International Criminal Court on Monday adjourned the trial of Kenyan Vice President William Ruto for a week to allow him to return home and deal with the hostage crisis at the Westgate Nairobi mall”

    Setting a criminal free to deal with other criminals. Defies logic.

    • It is regretable that innocent lives were maimed by these extremists. Just a reminder that the mandate for the ICC or African Criminal Court (ACC) has a bias towards incriminating African leaders. Ever wondered why some of the worst criminals in the world history ie Bush, Blair, Reagan, will never stand trial before the Hague, Why? Because their states are not signatory to the ICC. The notion by AU and Kenya in particular to withdraw from the ICC is a welcome development until there is a level play field when all states r signatory. Which logic does that defy really Hacha Ndizvo, it is you who lacks logic, open your eyes and see beyond. Good day.

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