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22 killed in attack at Nairobi shopping centre


Kenya

22 killed in attack at Nairobi shopping centre

At least 22 people have been killed and 50 injured by gunmen at a shopping centre in Nairobi, according to the Kenyan Red Cross.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the incident at the exclusive Westgate centre, however the principal secretary in the Kenyan Ministry of the Interior Mutea Iringo has reportedly said there is “a possibility that it is an attack by terrorists” so they are treating the matter very seriously. Asked if foreign security services were involved in the operation to flush out the attackers, he said, “At this stage it has not become necessary yet.”

Al-Shabab, the Somali based cell of Al-Qaeda has previously threatened to strike the centre.

Witnesses told news agencies the gunmen ordered Muslims to leave and that non-Muslims would be targeted.

Smoke has been billowing from the building as gunfire continues and armed police have surrounded the complex, popular with expatriates and wealthy Kenyans, in the Westlands district of the Kenyan capital.

There have been reports that grenades were thrown in the packed shopping centre and there are between five and ten gunmen speaking either Arabic or Somali.

There are believed to be at least 100 people trapped inside the upscale complex.

Reports from within the building are that the gunmen, armed with sophisticated weapons, started shooting indiscriminately while ordering people to lie on the ground.

Some of them are said to have had masks on, while others were already in the building mingling with the shoppers before the attack started this morning.

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