Kenya siege: Probe begins into attack; al Shabaab threatens more strikes

Last Updated: Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 12:56

Zee Media Bureau

Nairobi: Assisted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Scotland Yard and spy agencies of Israel and Germany, Kenya has begun probe into invasion of a Nairobi mall that left at least 72 people dead, including five of the assailants.

Alongwith the investigation of the terrorist invasion in Nairobi’s Westgate mall, authorities continued to search for additional bodies in the rubble.

For reasons that remain unclear, three of the structure`s four floors collapsed during the battle between Kenyan security forces and the Muslim militants who stormed the mall Saturday.

Six Kenyan soldiers and 61 civilians were killed, while 62 other people remain hospitalised, President Uhuru Kenyatta said Tuesday in a televised address.

He warned, however, that the death toll could rise as trapped bodies are pulled from the wreckage, while the Red Cross said 71 people who may have been in the mall when the assault began remain unaccounted for.

Also Read: Kenya attack: Dozens of bodies buried under Nairobi shopping mall rubble?

No additional civilians are likely to be found in the rubble at Westgate, Kenya`s interior minister told reporters Wednesday.

Any remaining bodies would be those of attackers, Joseph Ole Lenku said.

Al Shabaab, the Somali-based Islamic militant group thought to be behind the attack, said Wednesday that 137 civilians died.

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Kenyan police are looking into the possibility that some of the attackers rented space inside the mall in preparation for the terrorist strike.

Westgate is located in one of the most upscale areas of Nairobi and is frequented by the capital`s Western expatriate community.

Al Shabaab said it attacked the Nairobi mall in retaliation for the Kenyan military`s 2011 incursion into Somalia.
Al Shabaab leader threatens more bloodshed

The reclusive leader of the Somali Islamist militant group al Shabaab Wednesday threatened more bloodshed to press for the pullout of Kenyan troops from the African country in the Horn of Africa.

The threat came a day after Kenya declared triumph over a group of al Shabaab gunmen, who stormed the Westgate shopping mall in the capital Nairobi Saturday to start a four-day standoff with security forces, Xinhua reported.

In an audio massage, al Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane said his fighters launched the attack on Westgate to retaliate Kenya`s troop presence in southern Somalia.

Also Read: Kenya mall attack: Who is Samantha Lewthwaite - the `White Widow`?

Godane, also known as Abu Zubeyr, told Kenyans to withdraw their troops from Somalia or face similar attacks.

"Today make a decision and withdraw your troops from Islamic regions (of Somalia); otherwise be ready for more bloodshed in your land economic collapse and displacement," Abu Zubeyr said.

Kenya sent thousands of troops into southern Somalia in October 2011 after al Shabaab militants kidnapped foreigners from Kenyan territory.

Kenyan officials put the death toll of the attack at 72, including 61 civilians, six security agents and five terrorists.

The Kenya government has indicated the toll could rise as there might be bodies trapped inside the collapsed building.

The east African country started a three-day national mourning Wednesday.

The Somali government condemned the attacks as inhumane and heartless, vowing to defeat the al Qaeda-linked group in Somalia.

Thousands of Somalis in Kenya led by Somali Ambassador Mohamed Ali Ameriko distanced themselves from al Shabaab by supporting the rescue efforts and donating blood to help the victims.



First Published: Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 08:49

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