Nairobi 22nd September 2013: At least 59 people were killed and 175 injured in the attack by armed terrorists on an upscale mall in Nairobi in Kenya, according to government official. The attack started at about 12:00 local time yesterday. The terrorists entered the mall throwing grenades and firing automatic weapons.
The al-Qaeda-linked Somali militant group al-Shabab has said it has carried out the attack in response to Kenyan military operations in Somalia. There are about 4,000 Kenyan troops in the south of Somalia. Al-Shabab has carried out a series of attacks in Kenya since 2011.
Violent gunfire could be heard coming from inside the shopping mall early today, according to an AFP news agency correspondent at the scene.
There is a heavy military presence both in and around the building. The Kenyan interior ministry said the upper floors of the 4-storey mall had been protected. The gunmen had been isolated on the ground floor or in the basement. An unknown number of hostages were also still trapped inside the mall. It is not clear that how many civilians remain trapped there.
Kenyan security forces have arrested one of the gunmen who attacked the Westgate complex. 10 to 15 attackers were still in the mall, according to a twitter statement from Kenyan presidency.
The authorities have urged journalists to ensure caution while reporting military developments because the attackers might be watching the media.
They are also requesting for Kenyans to donate blood for the injured and large queues are forming at a donation centre in central Nairobi.
Image Courtesy : washingtonpost.com