Most hostages Kenia freed
Most of the hostages in the shopping center in the Kenyan capital Nairobi have been freed. So far one Dutch citizen was killed.The military operation against the terrorists continues, but the army regained control over most of the Mall, reports a Kenyan military spokesperson on Sunday.
The Red Cross reported the death toll of the terrorist action in the luxurious Westgate mall has risen to 68. Among them are at least ten foreigners. Besides a 33-year-old Dutch female, three British, two French, two Canadians, a Chinese woman and the 78-year-old Ghanaian writer Kofi Awoonor lost their lives. A cousin of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his fiancée are also among the victims. 175 people were injured and more than 1,000 people were evacuated from the mall. The mall was popular with foreigners and rich Kenyans.
Seven Dutch, who were also in the complex, remained unharmed.
Sunday afternoon Kenyan élite troops managed to gain access to the complex, but it wasn't till late in the evening an army spokesperson reported that most of the hostages had been freed. By then the army had regained control over most of the shopping center, but the representative could not say how many hostages were rescued.
The terrorists attacked the mall Saturday at noon. On Sunday there were still 10 to 15 terrorists entrenched in the shopping center of over 80 stores, a cinema and a casino, reported the authorities. One attacker died Saturday shortly after his arrest.
The Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack. It would be a retaliation for crimes that the Kenyan army committed in Somalia. The Somali and Kenyan army have been working together since 2011 in an offensive against al-Shabaab.
Al-Shabaab (the Youth) dominated a number of cities in central and southern Somalia for years , but was pushed into defense, partly by the cooperation of Somalia and Kenya. Last year, al-Shabaab joined the al-Qaeda, responsible for the bloody attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington. Kenyatta said Sunday that his government is still investigating whether al-Shabaab is indeed behind the action.