Tuesday, November 29News That Matters

All terrorists 'eliminated' after attack on Nairobi hotel

The Islamist terrorists who carried out an attack on a luxury Nairobi hotel have all been “eliminated”, the country’s president has said.

Uhuru Kenyatta said the security operation is now over after an almost 20-hour siege that left at least 14 innocent people dead.

Police sources and a mortuary official had previously reported that 15 were killed in the attack in Nairobi’s well-to-do Westlands neighbourhood.

Kenyan security officers take cover behind a moving vehicle as they search for attackers
Image: Kenyan security officers took cover behind a moving vehicle as they searched for attackers

A British man and an American woman who both died have not yet been identified.

Mr Kenyatta said more than 700 civilians have been led to safety after the attack on the DusitD2 hotel and office complex, which includes bars, restaurants, offices and banks.

He did not clarify if people were still hiding on the site.

Kenya's president speaks in the aftermath of a terror attack in Nairobi 0:52
Video: Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the nation of Kenya after a terror attack in Nairobi.

Mr Kenyatta, who urged Kenyans to “go back to work without fear”, said in a televised address to the nation on Wednesday: “I can confirm that… the security operation at the Dusit complex is over and all the terrorists eliminated.”

He added: “As of this moment, we have confirmation that 14 innocent lives were lost to the… terrorists, with others injured.”

Mr Kenyatta said authorities will “pursue relentlessly” those allegedly involved in the funding, planning and execution of the attack on the hotel complex.

Video: Surveillance footage shows that at least four assailants took part in the attack on an upscale hotel complex in Nairobi

He added that “multiple security efforts are underway to detect, deter, disrupt and defeat any terrorist operative or group.”

Mr Kenyatta added: “From the means available to the security services and judicial arms, we will continue taking every step to make our nation inhospitable to terrorist groups and their networks.”

The Kenyan leader has not confirmed how many attackers were involved in the co-ordinated attack.

A man is evacuated by a member of security forces
Image: More than 700 civilians were led to safety in the rescue effort

Al-Shabaab – the Somalia-based Islamist extremist group that is allied to Al-Qaeda – claimed responsibility for the deadly seige.

CCTV footage broadcast on local media showed four black-clad, heavily-armed men entering the complex on Tuesday afternoon.

At least one of them blew himself up at the start of the attack.

Authorities sent special forces into the hotel to flush out the gunmen, who local reports said were on the seventh floor of the Grosvenor Hotel.

Video footage from inside the building showed Kenyan security officers searching the premises.

People are evacuated from the complex by a member of security forces
Image: People were led away from the complex by members of the security forces

Workers could be seen emerging from hiding places while gunfire could still be heard.

A senior police officer said two attackers had been shot dead Wednesday morning after a prolonged shootout.

He added: “The two have red bandanas tied around their forehead and bullets strapped around their chest with several magazines each.

“Each had an AK47 which has been secured.”

Kenyan troops search a building for the gunman
Image: Local reports said the attackers were on the seventh floor of the building

Sporadic gunfire could be heard from the scene hours before Mr Kenyatta spoke on Wedneday, after scores of people were rescued at daybreak during what police called a “mopping-up” exercise.

Kenyan hospitals appealed for blood donations even as the number of wounded remained unclear.

Al-Shabaab carried out the 2013 attack at the nearby Westgate Mall in Nairobi that left 67 people dead.

Police say they are making 'considerable progress' after suspected terror attack at DusitD2 hotel and office complex in Nairobi.
Image: Footage emerged of armed police inside the hotel in Nairobi

Like the attack at the shopping centre, this one appeared aimed at wealthy Kenyans and foreigners.

It came a day after a magistrate ruled that three men must stand trial in connection with the Westgate Mall siege.

Al-Shabaab has vowed retribution against Kenya for sending troops to Somalia to fight it since 2011.

Tuesday’s violence came three years to the day after al-Shabaab extremists attacked a Kenyan military base in Somalia, killing scores of people.

People are evacuated as a gunfight was underway following a blast at a hotel and office complex in Nairobi
Image: At least 14 innocent people died in the terror attack

The group has killed hundreds of people in Kenya.

More from World

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for an assault on Kenya’s Garissa University in 2015 that killed 147 people, mostly students.

The latest carnage demonstrated al-Shabaab’s continued ability to carry out spectacular acts of bloodshed despite a dramatic increase in US air strikes against it under President Donald Trump.

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