WESTGAGE SHOPPING MALL MASSACRE NAIROBI – For hundreds of Kenyan and foreign nationals it was supposed to be just a normal day at Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi where families gathered to meet friends and do a little shopping.
Without warning a number of heavily armed Somali Muslim terrorists entered the Westgate Shopping Mall and began spraying bullets.
Westgate Shopping Mall is a favourite among wealthy Kenyan’s and foreign nationals and as the terrorist open fired they shouted for all Muslims to get out – they were only interested in anyone who was not Muslim or couldn’t name the Prophet’s mother.
The British Foreign Secretary William Hague last night was informed that the death toll amounted to 39 people with a further 150 injured. It has not been confirmed how many of these were British citizens although one hospital worker told reporters that a number of foreigners were killed and that they looked like British citizens.
During and after the terrorist attack the terrorist organization responsible took to twittering updates as they carried out their attack on innocent people.
William Hague has announced a rapid deployment of a consular team from Britain to Kenya and David Cameron, the British Prime Minister has vowed to offer any assistance to the Kenyan Government. Last night an emergency COBRA meeting took place in order to help provide assistance.
The Home Office has released some details stating that consular staff was at present visiting the Westgate Shopping Mall and local hospitals in order to determine the full extent of the terrorist attack and to find out how many British citizens were either killed, injured or being held hostage.
Other foreign national government representatives are also on the scene; it has been reported that a Canadian diplomat and one other has been killed. The French authorities have also released information stating that two French women were murdered.
The U.S State Department recently released information in which it said that four American citizens had been injured but there were no reports of any American citizen being killed.
In the initial aftermath approximately 68 people were rushed to the Aga Khan hospital in Nairobi and among these there were a number of foreign nationals.
According to eye witnesses during the attack the terrorists allowed Muslims to leave but as they filed out the doors each one was stopped and asked to name the Prophet Mohammed’s mother and those who were unable to do so were executed.
Once the terrorists had cleared the shopping mall of Muslims they then engaged in attacking those remaining with grenades and gunfire from AK-47s.
The Somali Al Shabab terrorist group last night claimed responsibility for the massacre in retaliation of Kenyan troop being in Somalia.
“The message we are sending to the Kenyan govt & Public is and has always been just one: remove all your forces from our country.” Al Shabab – Twitter message
Yesterday the Kenyan authorities told reporters that a number of the Al Shabab terrorists were still holding siege at the Westgate Shopping Mall and have taken as many as 30 hostages; most who are thought to be foreigners.
Reports have come in from hospitals and eye witnesses stating that a number of the victims in yesterday’s atrocity were very young children.
Eye witnesses also reported shoppers running for their lives as Kenyan security forces surrounded the shopping mall.
“I hid under a car with my daughters, and I saw the men line up maybe 40 people and ask them who was Muslim, and if they were to prove it by saying the name of the Prophet’s mother.
Those who got it wrong were shot.
There was blood everywhere. Two ladies under the car with me had gunshot wounds on their legs.
Another Indian gentleman was hit in the face by a bullet but he seemed not to be gravely hurt. Other people for sure are dead. I saw four people lying, not moving.
A grenade was thrown and it rolled near us, my daughter said, “Papa, there’s a grenade” – but thank God it didn’t go off and I kicked it away.” Charles Karani, 41, an IT engineer
It appeared that the terrorists were well organised; closing off entrances and stationing gunman on several levels of the shopping malls five storeys. Eye witnesses said that all the gunmen wore masks to conceal their identities – the scene was chaotic and completely frightening.
Kenya’s President, Mr. Kenyatta made a televised speech in which is said that Kenyan security forces were in the process of neutralizing the situation at the Westgate Shopping Mall but stressed that such a situation must be conducted delicately in order to prevent any further loss of life from the 30 hostages that are reportedly being held by Al Shabab terrorists in the mall.
Mr. Kenyatta also vowed that his Government would hunt down those responsible and that there would be no hiding place and these terrorists would be brought to justice to answer for their heinous crime.
One Kenyan journalist told reporters that he had seen approximately 30 bodies being taken out of the shopping mall and they were all white – it was as if the terrorists were deliberately targeting foreigners.
For more details and images on this see the Daily Mail