Nation & World News

Gunmen Use Grenades In Deadly Attack At Upscale Nairobi Mall

By Bill Chappell on September 21st, 2013

An upscale mall in Kenya was the scene of gunfire and explosions Saturday, after a group of attackers used grenades to strike during lunch hour in Nairobi. Updates from the scene indicate at least 15 deaths may have occurred, with more possible. We’ll add more news to this post as it emerges.

“Rob Vandijk, who works at the Dutch embassy, said he was eating at a restaurant inside the mall when attackers lobbed hand grenades inside the building,” the AP reports. “He said gunfire then burst out and people screamed as they dropped to the ground.”

The AP reports that police arrived at the mall roughly 30 minutes after the attack began. A gun battle ensued; the situation is now being described as a standoff. Sporadic gunfire is being reported from the scene. A motive for the attack is not yet known.

Update at 8:50 a.m. ET: Red Cross Says At Least 15 Killed, ‘Scores Injured’

Kenya’s Red Cross says “at least 15 killed” in the attack, Reuters reports.

On its Twitter feed, the Kenya Red Cross says that most hospitals in the area are full. An earlier update said, “Scores injured in the #Westgate Shootout.”

Update at 8:28 a.m. ET: Many Hostages Emerge

Moments ago, live coverage on Kenya’s Citizen TV news showed a large group of people, including children, walking quickly from the mall, escorted by security personnel. Many were immediately reunited with friends and family members who had been waiting outside.

Citizen TV reports that the gunmen had taken control of the upper floors and rooftop of the mall.

“We’ve managed to evacuate a number of people,” Kenya’s Interior Ministry tweeted.

But it seems the situation is not yet over. Officials have repeatedly urged Kenyans to donate blood to help the wounded.

Our original post continues:

Reports from the scene describe dozens of people streaming out of the multi-level Westgate Mall, in an affluent area on Nairobi’s north side. Photos showed others receiving treatment for wounds on the sidewalk, and security personnel in green fatigues and helmets taking up positions outside the mall.

Police tell Kenya’s Daily Nation that officers have evacuated parts of the area and are trying to learn more about the attackers.

“We have dispatched air surveillance and we confirm that they are armed criminals. We want to know who they are,” said Internal Security Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo.

Kenya’s Inspector General of Police National Police Service David Kimaiyo has been providing updates on Twitter about the incident. He warned the public and the media to stay away from the area.

“I am directing all media houses to stop showing alarming pictures,” he said.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Same-Sex Marriages On Hold In Virginia After Supreme Court Weighs In

The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked an appeals court ruling that would have allowed gay marriages to begin in Virginia tomorrow.


Beheading Video Sets Off Debate Over How — Or Whether — To Portray It

A shocking video that shows an American journalist being beheaded by extremist militants has sparked outrage, along with arguments over whether the images should be restricted online.


President Obama said Wednesday that the extremist group that carried out the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley engages in "cowardly acts of violence" and "has no place in the 21st century."

President Obama Says Militants Who Beheaded American Are ‘Cowardly’

The extremist group that carried out the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley engages in “cowardly acts” and “has no place in the 21st century,” President Obama said Wednesday.


Black smoke billows in the distance following an Israeli airstrike from the northern Gaza Strip neighborhood on Wednesday.

Israel’s Netanyahu Vows ‘A Continuous Campaign’ Against Hamas

The comments come a day after a truce collapsed, leading to the resumption of rocket fire against Israel and Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip. At least 20 Palestinians have been killed since then.


Protesters walk in front of a line of police as authorities try to disperse a demonstration in Ferguson, Mo. early Wednesday. The St. Louis suburb saw less violence than recent nights of protests.

A ‘Different Dynamic’ In Ferguson, But With 47 Arrests

Tear gas and Molotov cocktails were absent in Ferguson last night, as protesters and police avoided clashes that have marred demonstrations over an unarmed teen’s death in the St. Louis suburb.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments