Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha
Nairobi: Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta who condemned the Westgate mall terror attack in Nairobi, said he had “personally lost family members” in the terror attack which claimed 59 lives as told by the Interior Minister.
President Kenyatta vowed to punish the perpetrators of the attack saying, "We shall hunt down the perpetrators wherever they run to. We shall get to them and we shall punish them for this heinous crime…”
Kenyan security forces are still fighting the militants in the mall where "unknown number of hostages are trapped".
Fresh gunfire was heard this morning from the mall as Kenyan security forces are still fighting the militants holed up in the mall.
According to Kenya Disaster management agency, an “unknown number of hostages” are held captive at various locations in the mall.
The responsibility for the attack has been claimed by the al Qaeda-linked al Shabab militants who claimed that 100 people have been killed inside the mall.
“The attack at #WestgateMall is just a very tiny fraction of what Muslims in Somalia experience at the hands of Kenyan invaders,” al-Shabab said on Twitter.
In another tweet the militants said: “For long we have waged war against the Kenyans in our land, now it’s time to shift the battleground and take the war to their land #Westgate.”
According to the militant group al Shabab, the attack was in retaliation to the support given by Kenya military to UN mission in Somalia.
Kenya`s troops are assisting the African Union troops in Somalia which target al Shabab militants.
The attack was staged by masked gunmen who entered the mall at 12:00 noon and started firing grenades.
According to the witnesses, the militants told the Muslims to leave and then fired shots on the rest.
The attack seems to be the worst terrorist attack in Nairobi since al Qaeda attacked the US embassy in 1998, killing more than 200.
Two Indians, two French and two Canadian including one diplomat were dead in the attack while four Americans were reportedly injured.