News / Africa

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

A armored military vehicle drives from the Westgate shopping center after an exchange of gunfire. Sept. 23, 2013. A armored military vehicle drives from the Westgate shopping center after an exchange of gunfire. Sept. 23, 2013.
x
A armored military vehicle drives from the Westgate shopping center after an exchange of gunfire. Sept. 23, 2013.
A armored military vehicle drives from the Westgate shopping center after an exchange of gunfire. Sept. 23, 2013.
VOA News
Kenyan officials say the army has taken control of a besieged Nairobi shopping mall from Islamist terrorists, and that all hostages have been freed.

The Interior Ministry said late Monday soldiers were going through the huge Westgate shopping center floor-by-floor in search of anyone still inside.

Authorities say three gunmen were killed in clashes with Kenyan security forces, and that at least 10 suspects have been arrested.

Militants from the Somali militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for taking over the mall during a busy shopping day Saturday. They killed at least 62 people during the multi-day siege. The Red Cross put the death toll at 69.

Kenyan officials say they believe the gunmen include fighters from several nations. Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed told the PBS Newshour that two or three Americans of Somali or Arab origin and a British national took part in the attack.

White House spokesman Ben Rhodes said the U.S. has long been concerned about al-Shabab recruiting Americans to Somalia, and that the government is examining reports they were involved in the mall siege.
 
Speculation rose about the identity of the attackers. Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said they were all men but that some had dressed as women.
 
Despite his comments, one intelligence officer and two soldiers told Reuters that one of the dead militants was a white woman. This is likely to fuel speculation that she is the wanted widow of one of the suicide bombers who together killed more than 50 people on London's transport system in 2005.
 
Called the “white widow” by the British press, Samantha Lewthwaite is wanted in connection with an alleged plot to attack hotels and restaurants in Kenya. Asked if the dead woman was Lewthwaite, the intelligence officer said: “We don't know.”

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.

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.

From Mali to Algeria, Nigeria to Kenya, violent Islamist groups - tapping into local poverty, conflict, inequality or exclusion but espousing a similar anti-Western, anti-Christian creed - are striking at state authority and international interests, both economic and political.
 
John Campbell, a former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, said he believed insurgents such as those who rebelled in Mali last year, the Nigerian Boko Haram Islamist sect and the Nairobi mall raiders were also partly motivated by anger with what he called “pervasive malgovernance” in Africa.
 
“This is undoubtedly anti-Western and anti-Christian but it also taps into a lot of deep popular anger against the political economy in which they find themselves, in which a very small group of people are basically raking off the wealth,” he said.

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, and called the country one of Africa's most stable democracies.

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

President 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.

Reuters contributed to this report.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jeff Fuller from: Canada
September 24, 2013 10:55 AM
Oh terrorists are mighty and powerful; shoot those little children and women and show how mighty you are. The truth is that you are gutless and afraid to take on the challenges of the real world. You bring shame to your family, race and religion. Those moderates of your race and religion who do not publicly denounce you are not without blame and sadly will suffer because of your sick actions and their inaction.

In Response

by: Jeff Fuller from: canada
September 24, 2013 11:46 AM
When I said "sadly will suffer", I was not condoning violence. Violence to revenge violence is still violence.


by: Carl Jones from: London UK
September 24, 2013 10:50 AM
Another NWO false flag just like the Algerian gas plant and Mumbai! Bet most of the so called terrorists escaped down the sewer!lol


by: Hamza Muhammad from: Japan
September 24, 2013 8:39 AM
The entire world is under terrorist control until we shun selfish interest being champion by world supper powers: this people set out agents to be provoking violence but would hide under a cover thinking the rest of the world are fulls; it is a petty. Please come out by expressing yourselves openly and stop confusing the ignorant once.

In Response

by: David from: UK
September 24, 2013 10:46 AM
Religion plays a massive part in all modern day terrorism. The sooner people are educated that their beliefs do not give them the right to slaughter innocent people, the sooner things like this will start to decrease.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid