At least 39 people were killed and over 150 others wounded, including foreigners, after gunmen stormed an upscale mall in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, the country’s president said.
Hostages taken at Nairobi mall
Al-Qaeda-linked militant group Al-Shabaab claims responsibility
Al-Shabaab: Muslims “were escorted out”
Officials: 39 dead, 36 held hostage
President Uhuru Kenyatta said the attack sought to intimidate and divide the nation, but stated that the “terrorists” will be defeated, according to Reuters. The president added that he lost “very close family members” in the mall shooting, Reuters reported.
“The despicable perpetrators of this cowardly act hoped to intimidate, divide and cause despondency amongst Kenyans,” Kenyatta said in a televised address to the nation. “We have overcome terrorist attacks before. We will defeat them again.”
Witnesses said the attackers ordered all Muslims to leave the premises, as only non-Muslims would be targeted.
“The casualties are many, and that’s only what we have on the outside. Inside there are even more casualties and shooting is still going on,” Kenya Red Cross Society Secretary General Abbas Guled said.
A police officer inside the shopping center said the gunmen had barricaded themselves into the Nakumatt supermarket.
“We have reports of American citizens injured in the attack, and the US Embassy is actively reaching out to provide assistance,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement, Reuters reports.