News / Africa

Nairobi Mall Death Toll Expected to Rise

Catholic nuns pray near the Westgate Mall  in Nairobi, Kenya, Sept. 25 2013.
Catholic nuns pray near the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Sept. 25 2013.
Roopa Gogineni
Five days after terrorists laid siege to a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenyans await the final count of fatalities, as forensic teams search through the rubble. 

On Wednesday morning, Kenyan newspapers published a list of those killed in Saturday’s attack on the Westgate shopping mall by Islamist gunmen. The dead hailed from more than 10 countries.

The total death toll stands at 72, including five attackers and six Kenyan soldiers. Nearly 70 people are still reported as missing.

Wariko Waita, head of communications at the Kenya Red Cross, says a recovery team working with Kenyan troops has not yet learned of any hostages among the dead. "We were initially told there would be people still inside.  We have not received any casualties or fatalities at this point," he said.

Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said Wednesday that investigators expect to find more human remains under the rubble, but he predicted the overall casualty toll would not increase significantly.

Kenyans line up to donate blood for those injured in Saturday's terrorist attack on a shopping mall, at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, Kenya, Monday, Sept. 23, 2013.Kenyans line up to donate blood for those injured in Saturday's terrorist attack on a shopping mall, at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, Kenya, Monday, Sept. 23, 2013.
Kenyans line up to donate blood for those injured in Saturday's terrorist attack on a shopping mall, at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, Kenya, Monday, Sept. 23, 2013.
Kenyans line up to donate blood for those injured in Saturday's terrorist attack on a shopping mall, at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, Kenya, Monday, Sept. 23, 2013.
Kenyans have shown their support by donating hundreds of thousands of dollars and over 6,000 pints of blood to the rescue and recovery effort.  

"Because of our capacity and overpouring support we believe by the end of the day we will have sufficient supply," said Waita.

Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage, a spokesman for al-Shabab, the Somali Islamist group that claimed responsibility for the assault on the Westgate mall, has threatened more attacks. "We warn the Kenyan government and its satellites that if they want peace and security they should leave our country and stop interfering in our internal affairs," he stated. "They should release our men and avoid all assault on our religion."

President Uhuru Kenyatta addressed the nation on Tuesday night, saying a “multi-agency security team” had “shamed and defeated” the attackers. He called for three days of official mourning.

The president also renewed his commitment to “contain terrorists, pacify and stabilize” the region.

  • Smoke rises from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Sept. 25 2013. 
  • Catholic nuns pray near the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Sept. 25, 2013.
  • Fresh graves of Westgate Mall shooting victims in a cemetery in Nairobi, Sept. 25, 2013. 
  • Kenyan security forces stand on the top floor of a building facing the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Sept. 25, 2013.
  • Mary Italo, center, grieves with other relatives for her son Thomas Abayo Italo, 33, who was killed in the Westgate Mall attack, as they wait to receive his body at the mortuary in Nairobi, Kenya, Sept. 25, 2013. 
  • Kenya Defense Forces soldiers take their position at the Westgate Mall, on the fourth day since militants stormed into the mall, in Nairobi, Sept. 24, 2013.
  • Heavy smoke rises from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Sept. 23, 2013.
  • Paramedics run outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi after heavy shooting, Sept. 23, 2013.
  • People donate blood for people injured in the attack at the Westgate Mall, at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, Sept. 23, 2013.
  • Stephen, center, who lost his father in Saturday's attack at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, is comforted by relatives as he waits for the post mortem exam at the city morgue, Sept. 23, 2013.
  • Women carrying children run for safety as armed police hunt gunmen at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Sept. 21, 2013.
  • Civilians who had been hiding inside during the gun battle manage to flee from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Sept. 21, 2013.

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Comment Sorting
by: Paul Gesimba from: Nairobi
September 26, 2013 2:23 AM
The best way to deal with terror is to tackle it head on .And the Somalia question can best be dealt with the International community taking or making a concerted effort to cure the sick man of Africa .Like in the DRC the United Nations set up a multinational peace keeping force with enough mandate to carry out its mission .The force should be expanded to include Tanzanian troops .Just as the AMISOM forces in Somalia should be boosted by the inclusion of Ethiopian troops .The UN General assembly and the Security Council should address the Somalia crisis as a matter or urgency and come up with tangible solutions or proposals to restore peace and security .

by: Dr. Dirtylicker PhD from: Harvard
September 25, 2013 9:34 AM
Washington has offered a variety of justifications for its twelve years of wars. One is that Washington is rooting out terrorism in order to protect Americans from 9/11 type events. Another is that “dictators” must be overthrown and replaced with “freedom and democracy.” Still another is false claims of the possession of “weapons of mass destruction” (Iraq) and the use of “weapons of mass destruction” (Syria). None of Washington’s claims can withstand the barest scrutiny. None of the governments that Washington has overthrown and seeks to overthrow are terrorist states. Indeed, some are not even Islamist governments. Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had a secular government, as does Assad’s Syria.

Washington’s explanations for murdering Pakistanis and Yemenis with drones are even more nebulous. Moreover, using military means to kill citizens of countries with which the US is not at war lacks all legality. When Obama gets on the moral high horse about deaths in Syria or Nairobi, his hypocrisy is astounding. A person would think Obama would be ashamed. The Egyptian military, which is financed with $2 billion annually from Washington, has just overthrown the first elected president in Egypt’s history, banned the political party that Egyptians elected to power, and confiscated the political party’s assets, money, and buildings.

The Washington sponsored Egyptian military shot down in the streets many more Egyptians protesting the overthrow of their government by a military coup than died in the Nairobi mall. But we hear nothing from Washington or Obama about the need to support democracy in Egypt. When the British Parliament voted down providing cover for Obama’s criminal attack on Syria, Parliament created space for Russia’s President Putin to resolve the Syrian situation by obtaining Syrian President Assad’s agreement to join the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and to turn over all Syrian chemical weapons to an international body.

But why don't we hear these FACTS by the media which is run by six corporations? You know the answer.

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