Worst terrorist attack in a decade

Liam Woodcock

The Kenyan government has come under scrutiny following the country’s most deadly terrorist attack in more than a decade. In late September, Islamist militants from Somalia’s al-Shabaab – an affiliate of al-Qaeda – stormed the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi armed with machine guns and grenades. Unleashing a wave of gunfire at innocent shoppers, the militants killed 67 people according to the latest body count. However, it was rumoured that approximately 39 people were still missing at the time Global went to press. 

This is Kenya’s worst attack since the 1998 US Embassy bombings which killed more than 200 people. Taking all responsibility, al-Shabaab has suggested the incident was a reaction against Kenyan military action in Somalia. In a remarkable four-day siege, the world watched as the Kenyan military and police fought back terrorists inside the mall. Yet despite this, a government official has revealed that Kenyan forces were responsible for detonating a section of the mall in order to defeat the militants, possibly killing innocent hostages in the process. 

Recent CCTV footage has revealed both dramatic rescues and the identities of some of the attackers, but embarrassingly for the Kenyan government, some videos show members of the operative teams looting cash machines and liquor stores after the siege had ended. The Westgate incident is still under investigation, while President Uhuru Kenyatta has maintained that troops will remain in Somalia following the attack.



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