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Kenyan journalist reports panic and confusion in Nairobi shopping mall siege


Kenya

Kenyan journalist reports panic and confusion in Nairobi shopping mall siege

“At the moment the siege of the shopping mall is still ongoing, there is still several dozen, maybe as many as 100 people cowering in shops and cafes and bank vaults locked away from the gunmen inside the mall, We’ve seen the Kenya army units, one of the more specialist army units has entered the mall. We’re expecting that to be a more forensic operation to try to take the gunmen into arrest or else of course they may well be shot in the crossfire. There have been no recent gunshots heard outside but it’s still a very tense situation, Some people are still being released and are able to come outside, many of those wounded have been taken to hospital.”

“From the fact that we haven’t heard any gunshots recently that would suggest that whatever’s happening inside is not involving violence at this point, but that may just be that the police have the gunmen cornered, which is what one officer was telling me a little earlier on. The situation’s still very fluid and the mall is still far from under control.”

“It’s five storeys, including the car park in the basement and on the roof. I would say probably 20 shops on each floor, so you’re looking at three floors around an open atrium with balconies and so on, with several areas where people could stay safe themselves and equally where the attackers could be hiding. We’re not sure how many attackers there were of course so therefore it’s going to be difficult to suggest that all of them have been taken under arrest and to declare the place safe.

There have been 3 different reports I’ve heard now that the gunmen were questioning people that they were holding, requesting those that were Muslim to stand up and to say, to prove that they were Muslim, giving the name of the prophet’s mother. Those who were correct were released and those who didn’t were still being held,” says Mike Pflanz, a Kenyan-born British independent journalist on the scene.

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