News / Africa

    Kenyan Govt: Army in Control of Besieged Mall, All Hostages Free

    • 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.
    VOA News
    Kenyan officials say the army has taken complete control of the besieged Nairobi shopping mall from Islamist terrorists, and that all hostages have been freed.

    Soldiers are still combing the huge Westgate shopping center floor-by-floor.

    Al-Shabab extremists from Somalia claimed responsibility for taking over the mall during a busy shopping day Saturday. Gunmen walked from store-to-store, shooting down shoppers. They also opened fire on a group of children in a cooking class and murdered people in the parking lot. At least 62 people were killed along with two gunmen. The Red Cross puts the death toll at 69.

    Al-Shabab says the attack was in retaliation for Kenya's military intervention in Somalia. It demands all Kenyan forces leave Somalia -- a demand the Kenyan government rejects.

    U.S. President Barack Obama said he has spoken directly with Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, and will provide whatever law enforcement assistance Kenya needs.

    Obama said he is confident Kenya will rebuild. He called it one of Africa's most stable democracies.

    Among those killed Saturday were nationals from Britain, Canada, China, France, India and South Korea.

    Kenyatta vows to stand firm against terrorism and punish those behind the attack "swiftly" and "very painfully." The president said his nephew and the young man's fiancee were among those killed.

    Kenyan forces entered neighboring Somalia two years ago to help rout al-Shabab, which has been fighting to turn Somalia into a conservative Islamic state. Al-Shabab militants often crossed the border to stage attacks in Kenya.

    The FBI is investigating reports that some Americans who joined al-Shabab were involved in the mall attack.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Paul Gesimba from: Nairobi
    September 24, 2013 10:24 AM
    For attacking innocent women and children is an abomination and crime against humanity .The whole World must condemn this act of heinous aggression and rise u against the Al -Shabab .The AMISOM forces must be boosted with the inclusion of Ethiopian and other allied forces to deal the Al Shabab a decisive blow The USA should also deploy one war Ship or aircraft carrier off the Coast of Somalia to demonstrate that the World will not tolerate such acts of wanton destruction of life and property .

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    September 24, 2013 6:45 AM
    When you listen to the list of names of invaluable humans killed by the el shebaab beasts, you would just not help thinking along my line now. I wish the remaining terrorists still trapped in the mall be captured alive - if possible - and be subjected to slow death process in the public. That's the only thing that will assuage the pain they have inflicted on civil and peace loving society. But the broad panacea still remains to discourage state sponsorship of these groups by applying very stringent penalties for a violation.

    Since most of the terrorists have sunni muslim leaning, it is hi time someone told Saudi Arabia to its face, "stop sponsoring terrorism." An American backing of the Saudis must be the protection these terrorists enjoy, even though USA makes a pretense of fighting terrorism.

    Selfishness of the US has been variously blamed for the increase in terrorist activities. Therefore as a foreplay to the enactment of the laws to eliminate terrorism and punish states that sponsor it, the US should be ready to dare Saudi Arabia by shunning the oil flow that has been its ace in the game. The Saudi monarch should issue a decree denouncing terrorism and terrorists. It is not enough to say there is no terrorist activity going on inside the country while like Iran it puts other countries and lives in jeopardy.

    by: John Kerry from: White House
    September 24, 2013 12:07 AM
    The Al Shabab terror group is the African branch of Al-Qaeda, and is ideologically aligned with the same jihadists that the US and NATO backed in Libya and are currently supporting in Syria.

    The 2011 invasion of Libya expanded Al-Qaeda’s operational capacity in both Africa and the Middle East.

    As Tony Cartalucci summarizes, “Al Qaeda, for the West, serves as the ultimate geopolitical tool. It can be used as a pretext to invade, as well as a nearly inexhaustible mercenary army to carry out ruthless terrorist campaigns and even full-scale war as seen in Syria and Libya, to achieve Western objectives. Additionally, the omnipresent, nebulous nature of Al Qaeda serves as justification to strip away the rights and liberties of people at home, across Western civilization – perpetuating a climate of fear within which the seeds of very profitable war can be sown and continuously reaped.”

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.