Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Kenyan President: Siege of Nairobi Mall Is Over; "We Have Ashamed and Defeated Our Attackers"

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta declared today (September 24, 2013) that the four-day-long siege of an upscale mall in Nairobi -- the capital of Kenya -- by Islamist militants has ended with the deaths of five attackers and 11 in custody. He announced three days of mourning for the more than 60 people killed in the attack, a death toll that he said is expected to rise with the recovery of more bodies from the mall, according to the Washington Post website.

"As a nation, our head is bloodied but unbowed," Kenyatta said in a televised address. "We have ashamed and defeated our attackers."

Kenyatta said he could not confirm reports by Kenya's foreign minister that three Americans and a British woman were among the heavily armed jihadists who stormed the Westgate Premier Shopping Mall on September 21, massacred dozens of people, and seized hostages. But he promised a full accounting of what happened, adding that experts are conducting forensic tests to determine the nationalities of the assailants.

Sixty-one civilians and six members of the security forces were killed in the bloodshed, Kenyatta said. He added that bodies were still trapped under the rubble left after three floors of the mall collapsed during the tail end of the operation. The Kenyan Red Cross said that as many as 65 civilians reported to have been inside the mall remain missing.

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