Saturday, 21 September 2013

16 Gunmen storm Nairobi Kenya upmarket shopping centre in #WestgateAttack: 26 people dead; hostages taken; 50 injured!

The French Media caught it first.

'Shooting at Nairobi shopping centre in Kenya', quickly became 'shoot-out', if not 'mass killing'. Shortly, words such as massacre became appropriate. Witnesses described foreign gunmen who spoke a language they could not decipher. Commando and elite army units were called up, and helicopters circled the scene. Heinous images of dead civilians strewn in the car park hit the social networks such as Twitter. Cellular phone imagery from inside the shopping centre made it to media. People, white and black, lying alive on the floor, sometimes hidden from view. A haunting image of a woman, with blood and seeming death carrying her, in a vehicle with a shattered window, seemingly in an embrace with another, ghosted through media.

26 have died and the last count was 50 injured. Some say a journalist is among the dead. Police have taken cover from automatic fire according to sources. The army is said to have began to enter the shopping centre.

Police have used tear gas to disperse crowds according to local media. What the move against spectators means is uncertain.

The Kenyan Red Cross is processing hostages which have been released. It is recorded that there are at least 7 hostages, though photographs suggest more. Children were said to be among the original hostages taken.

It is said by a single witness, that gunmen said that Muslims could leave before they barraged the civilian target in what a Kenyan official is calling a terrorist attack. It is thought that the witnessed as 16 gunmen are Islamist Jihadis aiming to ethnic cleanse non-Muslim patrons of the shopping centre.

Campaigns of prayer and requests that blood donors contribute to saving lives have ignited on social networking sites.

People on the scene have claimed that the gunmen have AK 47 assault rifles, and have hand grenades: Both of which weapons, can easily and efficiently kill victims.

Update: it is the 9th of October. You will notice I have not changed the number of attackers, the article is as it was on or about time of publication. Not only do I like to leave my original story, but if there were mistakes which there are not, I prefer to correct them over erasing these. The number I first wrote about I have stuck to. At the time the government of Kenya said there were four attackers, my witness said 16. Then the government said 9-15 attackers, and up and down. Most recently it said +- 4 attackers, which would conveniently tie up loose ends if 11 or 12 happened to escape. I am noting the difference here because it is right to note the difference. However, I believe my witness over the Kenyan government given the size of the mall, and other factors. I also reported on the hostage takers being Islamists before Al Shabaab admitted to the attack, based on witness testimony on the scene. Al Shabaab taking responsibility is useful, but I prefer to be witness based than press release based. I will note the releases but do due diligence. I doubt the Kenyan government account. If you believe I am wrong in this analysis, you are welcome to present evidence otherwise to help me insure I report the truth always.

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