FROM JANET LEVY:
The Islamists of the Al Qaeda affiliate, al-Shabaab, that stormed an upscale Israeli-owned shopping mall today armed with grenades and AK-47s are still in a standoff with security personnel. So far, they’ve killed 59 people and injured a couple of hundred.
The jihadists reportedly told Muslims to leave the facility and said that non-Muslims would be targeted. Shoppers were asked their religion and some were asked to name Mohammed’s mother.
(It may not be relevent for the next attack but memorize this: Aminah Bint Wahb is Mohammed’s mother).
Nairobi attack: Death toll rises to 59 as shots are fired on troops preparing hostage rescue operation
Kenyan minister says ‘we have access to CCTV and are in complete control’, adding more than 1,000 people have been rescued from the Westgate shopping centre since the terrorists started shooting
The Kenyan military are preparing to storm the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi where terrorists are holding an unknown number of hostages, following an attack yesterday which the Interior Ministry now says killed at least 59 people.
Gunmen armed with grenades, AK-47s and ammunition belts opened fire inside the affluent mall during a children’s cooking competition, with witnesses saying the terrorists numbered up to 10 men – some of whom looked as young as 18.
Reinforcements arrived this morning, according to the ministry, with armoured vehicles bringing more soldiers to join in the rescue operation. At approximately 11am (9am BST), fresh barrages of gunfire were heard from within the shopping centre, reportedly as security forces ran in a line and crouched along the front of the building.
Speaking to reporters today, Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said the police and army were in complete control of the situation, and that they now had remote control of the shopping centre’s CCTV systems.
Mr Lenku said the official number of injured had increased to 175, but he added that he was thankful for the fact that they had been able to get more than 1,000 people out of the mall safely.