20 Dead as Gunman Attack Nairobi Shopping Mall in Kenya (Update: Attackers were Targeting non-Muslims) (Update: Authorities Calling Possible Terror Attack) (Update: 59 Dead, Likely to Rise, Islamists Have Hostages)
CNN is reporting that dozens are injured and at least 20 are dead as gunman opened fire in a Nairobi mall in Kenya. The attack took place at an upscale Westgate Mall. In is unknown at this time just how many people have been injured or killed and the background of the gunman. A witness said that gunmen armed with AK-47s and grenades.
Gunmen attacked an upscale shopping mall in the Kenyan capital on Saturday, leading to a fierce gunbattle with police and leaving dozens of casualties.
The Kenyan Red Cross reported 20 dead, though a government official, Joseph Ole Lenku, only confirmed 11.
Fifty more people were wounded in the attack at the mall in Nairobi, said Abbas Gullet, head of the Kenyan Red Cross.
A security agent told CNN’s Lillian Leposo at the scene that the violence was a terrorist attack, but officials had yet to confirm that information, Leposo told CNN.
“They have strong reason that these men are terrorists,” Leposo said.
UPDATE I: From AP via the Jawa Report … it would appear that CNN left out this little important fact that the gunman were solely attacking non-Muslims. So they were only attacking non-Muslims, eh? Let’s go out on a limb and call this an act of terror and not workplace violence.
The gunmen announced that non-Muslims would be targeted, said Elijah Kamau, who was at the mall at the time of the midday attack.
“The gunmen told Muslims to stand up and leave. They were safe, and non-Muslims would be targeted,” he said.
UPDATE II: ABC News is reporting that 22 are dead and the attackers were targeting non-Muslims. The authorities are treating it as a terrorist attack.
Gunmen threw grenades and opened fire Saturday killing at least 22 people in an attack targeting non-Muslims at an upscale mall in Kenya’s capital that was hosting a children’s day event, a Red Cross official and witnesses said.
The attackers remained inside and firing subsided as military surrounded the mall hours after the attack. People continued to trickle out from hiding places within the Westgate mall, which is frequented by expatriates and rich Kenyans in Nairobi’s affluent Westlands neighborhood.
Kenya Red Cross official Abbas Gullet said at least 22 people were killed in the attack that police blamed on terrorists. He said the death toll would likely rise.
“We are treating this as a terrorist attack,” said police chief Benson Kibue, adding that there are likely no more than 10 attackers involved.
UPDATE III: The BBC is reporting that police first thought it was a robbery; however, is now classifying it as terrorism.
A senior police officer originally said it was an attempted robbery but later called it a possible terrorist attack.
The Somali militant group al-Shabab had threatened to strike the centre.
It is opposed to Kenya sending troops to fight in Somalia. No group has said it carried out Saturday’s attack.
UPDATE IV: Islamist gunmen holed up with hostages in Nairobi siege, 59 dead.
Islamist militants were holed up with hostages on Sunday at a shopping mall in Nairobi, where at least 59 people have been killed in an attack by the al Shabaab group that opposes Kenya’s participation in a peacekeeping mission in neighboring Somalia.