Nation & World News

Kenyan Mall Attack: The Latest News

By Mark Memmott on September 25th, 2013

Here’s a quick look at where things stand in Nairobi, Kenya, where terrorists claiming to be part of the Somalia-based al-Shabab organization attacked a shopping mall on Saturday and then kept security forces at bay until late in the day on Tuesday:

– Deaths. The official count remains where it was as of Tuesday evening in Nairobi, when President Uhuru Kenyatta said there had been 61 civilians, six security officers and five terrorists killed.

– But Could More Be Dead? Kenyan Interior Minister Ole Lenku told reporters Wednesday that he believes any bodies left in the rubble of the Westgate Mall are those of terrorists, not civilians.

At the other end of the spectrum, The Associated Press says, “In a series of tweets from a Twitter account believed to be genuine,” someone claiming to represent al-Shabab said there were 137 dead civilians in the wreckage of the mall. Government spokesman Manoah Esipisu told the AP that al-Shabab “is known for wild allegations and there is absolutely no truth to what they’re saying.”

NPR’s Gregory Warner spoke with a senior Kenyan Red Cross official who did not want to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the press, who said that there were “definitely” people who were crushed in the rubble when the floors collapsed. He said that the death toll from the attack could easily climb over 100.

Kenyan Red Cross says the official count of missing is 71 people.

This disputes the claim of Lenku who said investigators believe that only an “insignificant number” of people may be buried in the debris, and that there were no civilians left alive in the building when several floors collapsed.

– Search, Investigation Continue. “Investigators and bomb-disposal experts on Wednesday began sifting through the wreckage of an upscale shopping mall here in an effort to recover bodies and learn more about the Islamist militants,” The Washington Post writes.

– U.S., Britain And Israel Assist. Manoah Esipisu, the government spokesman, “told reporters on Wednesday that specialists from the Federal Bureau of Investigation were involved in the forensic investigation,” The New York Times reports. “Israeli and British experts were also on the scene. The forensic examinations would help to determine the nationalities and identities of the militants as well as the victims.”

– British Woman Involved? “It was unclear whether intelligence reports of American or British gunmen would be confirmed,” Reuters writes. “Al-Shabab denied that any women took part, after British sources said the fugitive widow of one of the 2005 London suicide bombers might have some role.” President Kenyatta said Tuesday that 11 terrorists had been taken into custody.

– Americans Involved? “U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Wednesday there had been no verification that Americans were involved in a deadly attack at a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya,” Reuters says.

– Questions. From Nairobi, NPR’s Gregory Warner reports that “as Kenya began three days of national mourning, questions swirled about why Kenyan authorities took so long to respond to the crisis, whether some terrorists had escaped with fleeing shoppers, and who exactly were the terrorists involved.”

We’ll update as more news comes in.

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

In the past year, the U.S. prison population fell by roughly 4,800, the first time in decades the number has gone down, according to the Justice Department. Attorney General Eric Holder discussed the findings at New York University's law school Tuesday.

Crime Falls As U.S. Locks Up Fewer People, Attorney General Holder Says

For the first time in more than 40 years, both the overall crime rate and the overall incarceration rate have fallen by around 10 percent in a roughly five-year span, the attorney general says.


Al-Qaida’s Khorasan Group Led By Hard-Core Fighters

The group, which was targeted by U.S. airstrikes in Syria last night, has been on the U.S. radar for a while. Intelligence officials say they have tracked its individual members for years.


President Barack Obama speaks at the UN Climate Summit Tuesday. Discussing America's past, Obama told the group, "We recognize our role in creating this problem."

Obama Calls For More Ambitious Approach To Climate Change In U.N. Speech

“There is such a thing as being too late,” President Obama says in his address to the U.N. Climate Summit. The White House is touting tools to boost “global resilience” in the face of climate change.


In some parts of the U.S., Starbucks is testing a latte flavored with roasted-stout notes along with its seasonal autumn drinks such as the Pumpkin Spice Latte, seen here at front.

Stoutaccino? Starbucks Tests Coffee With Beer Flavors

Reports that Starbucks is testing a new coffee drink for autumn that incorporates “toasty stout flavors” has set off a debate over how such a concoction might taste, and whether it’s a good idea.


President Obama closes his eyes as a prayer is offered at the National Prayer Breakfast in February in Washington, D.C.

More Americans Favor Mixing Religion And Politics, Survey Says

The poll by Pew’s Religion & Public Life Project also shows that three-quarters of survey participants believe religion’s influence on American life is waning.


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