News / Africa

    Kenya Military Launches Attack to End Siege

    A Kenyan soldier walks out of the main gate of Westgate Shopping Center in Nairobi Sep. 22, 2013.
    A Kenyan soldier walks out of the main gate of Westgate Shopping Center in Nairobi Sep. 22, 2013.
    VOA News
    A Kenyan military spokesman says most of the hostages trapped in a Nairobi shopping mall by Islamist gunmen have been rescued, and that most of the complex is secure.

    After sundown on Sunday, the military began an assault on the upscale mall where an unknown number of hostages were being held by al-Qaida-linked militants.

    Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said at least one attacker was killed during efforts to end the deadly two-day siege.  Officials did not immediately give the number of hostages rescued or the number that remain.

    The Kenyan Red Cross increased the number of deaths to 68 after the bodies of nine more people were recovered. At least 175 others were wounded in the deadly attack that began Saturday inside the Westgate Mall.

    In an emotional speech delivered Sunday, President Kenyatta vowed to stand firm against the threat of terrorism, adding that Kenyan security forces have a good chance of neutralizing those responsible for the attack.

    "They shall not get away with their despicable and beastly acts. Like the cowardly perpetrators now cornered in the building, we will punish the masterminds swiftly and indeed very painfully," he said.

    The president added that his nephew and his nephew's fiancee were among those killed in the attack. "I feel the pain of every life we have lost and share your grief at our nation's loss," he said.

    The Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it is in retaliation for Kenya's military intervention in Somalia.  An al-Shabaab spokesman said in an audio message, "Either leave our country or live with constant attacks."

    Kenyan forces entered Somalia two years ago to fight al-Shabaab militants who often had crossed the border to stage attacks.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke with his Kenyan counterpart Sunday. Kerry called the attack "an enormous offense against everybody's sense of right and wrong.''

    The U.N. Security Council and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also strongly condemned the attack. Ban called it a "premeditated" and "totally reprehensible" act targeting defenseless civilians.

    Witnesses said the gunmen wore masks and tossed hand grenades at the Westgate Mall during busy shopping hours.

    Among those killed in the attack were three British nationals, as well as nationals from France, Canada, China, India and South Korea. The United States says no Americans were killed, but that some have been wounded.

    U.S. President Barack Obama called President Kenyatta Sunday to express his condolences and reaffirm the U.S. commitment with Kenya to fight terrorism.

    You May Like

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: David
    September 23, 2013 10:37 AM
    It is beyond comprehension why an appeal was not made to the Israeli or British or South African Government for specialized Teams to be flow in to deal with the situation. This outcome does not inspire confidence. Ultimately the Kenyan Government needs a number of their own specialized teams to deal with this scenario.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora