Nairobi Mall Standoff Enters Fourth Day

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The four day standoff that began Saturday with Al-Queda linked militants storming into Nairobi’s Westgate Premier Shopping Mall, tossing hand grenades and firing indiscriminately in the crowded high end plaza, has been neutralized.

The Somali terror group Al-Shabaab, with links to Al-Queda, has claimed responsibility for the attack that killed more than 70 and injured over 200 including women and children.

Joseph Ole Lenku, Nairobi’s Interior Minister, using the popular micro messaging platform Twitter to relay messages to the West, stated they, the government forces, were “in control” and believed that all hostages had been freed.

The Saturday attack, at the high end shopping mall popular with westerners, was at the height of several fan appreciation events geared toward children.

The attack that appeared to have both political and religious motivation stunned the world as graphic images of the carnage speed across social media networks.

“The perpetrators of this heinous act must be brought to justice, and we have offered our full support to the Kenyan Government to do so. “ President Obama stated in a released statement.   ”We will continue to stand with the Kenyan people in their efforts to confront terrorism in all its forms, including the threat posed by al-Shabaab. This cowardly act against innocent civilians will not shake our resolve.”

Survivors had told media the militants rushed into the mall and were told those who were of Muslim origin “they could leave.” After that the group of number of soldiers, began spraying the mall shoppers, with bullets and lobbing grenades into the crowds.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said in an address that the attackers "shall not get away with their despicable and beastly acts. We will punish the masterminds swiftly and indeed very painfully."

President Kenyatta lost his nephew and his nephew’s fiancée in the attack.

Reports of those killed in the Saturday attack include Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor, a globally recognized scholar, was also listed among the dead.  

According to Secretary of State John Kerry no United States Citizens have been identified although the wife of a U.S. Diplomat is among the dead.

The French, Canadian, Chinese, Ghanaian and the Netherlands have all reported a number of their citizens were also murdered.

International terrorist Samantha Lewthwaite, known as the “White Widow” is reportedly among the missing or dead. She is a British citizen wanted for her assistance in the 2005 terror attacks.

A number of the Al-Shabaab terrorists have been killed in the cross fire as Kenyan armed forces responded to the siege with military action.

The Islamic terror group is said to be hold up on the top floor of the mall with military forces controlling the majority of the seven floors of the Mall. Most, if not all, hostages have been released and the survivors have escaped some even crawling out of air vents where they hide for hours.

The al-Shabab extremist Islamic terrorist force grew out of the anarchy that crippled Somalia after warlords ousted a longtime dictator in 1991. Its name means "The Youth" in Arabic,

Al-Shabab is estimated to have several thousand fighters, including a few hundred foreign fighters. Some of the insurgents' foreign fighters are from the Middle East with experience in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Others are young, raw recruits from Somali communities in the United States and Europe.

 

Sources: Reuters

 

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