INCREDIBLE: These chilling pictures from the Kenya mall attack will make you cringe (GRAPHIC PHOTOS)

Three Britons were today confirmed dead after armed terrorists stormed a Nairobi shopping centre – and the number is likely to rise, the Foreign Office.

Armed women were reportedly part of the terrorist squad, whose gun and grenade attack left at least 59 dead, Kenyan Interior Minister Joe Lenku said.

A large Kenyan security force has laid siege to the mall with soldiers and armoured personnel carriers and taken control of its security cameras.

There are 10 to 15 hostages still trapped inside and it’s thought that Israeli soldiers are assisting with the rescue mission.

‘The Israelis have entered and they are rescuing the hostages and the injured,’ a source said.

Rescue mission: An image from AFP TV shows military forces taking position inside the shopping mall Rescue mission: An image from AFP TV shows military forces taking position inside the shopping mall

Armed response: Kenyan troops with machine guns take position in the mallArmed response: Kenyan troops with machine guns take up position in the mall

Tense: Soldiers from the Kenya Defense Forces walk out of the mall, following the sound of explosions and gunfireTense: Soldiers from the Kenya Defense Forces walk out of the mall, following the sound of explosions and gunfire

Lock-down: Kenya security personnel walk to their positions outside the shopping mallLock-down: Kenya security personnel walk to their positions outside the shopping mall as the siege continues

Two wounded Kenyan security forces officers were carried out of the mall this morning after a barrage of gunfire was heard.

This afternoon brief volleys of gunfire were heard and Kenyan television reporters said they had been told by officials that they could soon be asked to move further back from the mall.

An Associated Press reporter, positioned just 330 yards from Westgate, tweeted that a huge blast went off inside it.

Jason Straziuso said: ‘I’m 300 meters from mall when blast went off. Eery silence afterward. One short gunfire burst.

 

‘That last big blast far larger than any explosion I’m last 30 hours. No idea what caused it.’

Prime Minister David Cameron said: ‘It is an absolutely sickening and despicable attack of appalling brutality.’

As the massacre unfolded witnesses described terrifying scenes in which men, women and children of all ages and nationalities were brutally cut down.

The mall, a popular haunt for rich Kenyans and expats, was dotted with bodies lying in pools of blood. Some victims were shot dead as they sat in their cars, while others have been left with horrific injuries.

Soldiers from the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) arrive at the Westgate Shopping Centre in the capital Nairobi Hunting down the terrorists: Soldiers from the Kenya Defence Forces arrive at the Westgate Shopping Centre in the capital Nairobi

Ordeal: People come out from hiding under a car next to bodies in a car park as police search for the armed radicalsOrdeal: People come out from hiding under a car next to bodies in a car park as police search for the armed radicals

Led to safety: An image grab taken from AFP TV shows civilians being evacuated from the mall Led to safety: An image grab taken from AFP TV shows civilians being evacuated from the mall

Siege: People look at the Westgate shopping mall in the distance where hostages are being held for the second day Siege: People look at the Westgate shopping mall in the distance where hostages are being held for the second day

Escape: This family, who had been trapped inside the shopping centre, support each other as they escape from the scene

Escape: This family, who had been trapped inside the shopping centre, support each other as they escape from the scene

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta has pledged to hunt down and punish the terrorists behind the brutal attack in upmarket Nairobi, in which a further 150 people were injured.

In a national televised address he said that his nephew and his nephew’s fiancée, who he ‘knew and loved’, were both killed by the radicals.

Somali-based militant group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the outrage at the mall in the affluent Westlands district of the capital.

A foreign office spokesperson said that three British nationals are confirmed dead and that the next of kin of those nationals have been informed.

The Government’s crisis committee (COBR), chaired by Foreign Secretary William Hague, met earlier today to discuss the incident.

The Labour Party conference in Brighton paused for a minute’s silence as news of the deaths filtered through, with Ed Miliband among those reflecting on the tragedy.

He said: ‘This is an appalling attack which has left three British citizens and many others dead. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims and the others caught up in this dreadful atrocity. Those who carried out this attack will be condemned across the globe. The cold-blooded killing of innocent women, children and men is as despicable as it is shocking.’

 

Horror: Shoppers hurry down an escalator with their hands in the air as they make their way out of the shopping centre to safetyHorror: Shoppers hurry down an escalator with their hands in the air as they make their way out of the shopping centre to safety

Army: Soldiers were drafted in to help police tackle the gunmen, who are now known to be terrorists from the Somali al-Shabaab organisation, which has links to al-QaedaArmy: Soldiers were drafted in to help police tackle the gunmen, who are now known to be terrorists from the Somali al-Shabaab organisation, which has links to al-Qaeda

Shootout: Soldiers and armed police fire at the suspected terrorists as they try to wrest back control of the shopping centreShootout: Soldiers and armed police fire at the suspected terrorists as they try to wrest back control of the shopping centre

 

Desperation: A crowd of people hold their arms out to catch a Kenyan woman as she jumps out from the air vent where she had been hiding from the gunmenDesperation: A crowd of people hold their arms out to catch a Kenyan woman as she jumps out from the air vent where she had been hiding from the gunmen

 

Emergency: A Red Cross assistant helps a child outside who was among those caught in the shootingEmergency: A Red Cross assistant helps a child outside who was among those caught in the shooting

Killings: At least 59 people are believed to be dead, although police have not confirmed a death tollKillings: At least 59 people are believed to be dead, although police have not confirmed a death toll

Desperation: An injured woman, whose face and clothes are drenched in blood, lies on the ground outside the shopping mall screaming for helpDesperation: An injured woman, whose face and clothes are drenched in blood, lies on the ground outside the shopping mall screaming for help

Escape: Women carrying children run for safety after al Shabaab terrorists stormed Westgate shopping center in Nairobi, Kenya armed with guns and grenades Escape: Women carrying children run for safety after al Shabaab terrorists stormed Westgate shopping center in Nairobi, Kenya armed with guns and grenades

 

Spree: Shots are still being heard in the mall as police and terrorists engage in a stand-offSpree: Shots are still being heard in the mall as police and terrorists engage in a stand-off

Mr Cameron told the BBC: ‘Our thoughts are also with the Kenyan government and people at this time. These appalling attacks that take place, where the perpetrators do it in the name of a religion.. they don’t. They do it in the name of terror, violence, extremism and their warped view of the world. They don’t represent Islam or Muslims in Britain or anywhere else in the world.

‘We’ve offered the Kenyans help in terms of policing and advice and intelligence collaboration.’

Two Canadians, including diplomat Annemarie Desloges, and two French women have been confirmed as being among the dead, along with renowned Ghanaian poet and statesman Kofi Awoonor.

The US State Department also said four American citizens were reported injured.

In his address today Mr Kenyatta said: ‘I want every bereaved family to know that I and indeed all of us mourn with them. No-one should lose their life so needlessly, so senselessly. They shall not get away with their despicable and beastly acts. We will punish the masterminds swiftly and indeed very painfully.

Hands up: Hostages of all nationalities head for the exit with their arms raised to show they are not carrying any weapons

Hands up: Hostages of all nationalities head for the exit with their arms raised to show they are not carrying any weapons

Tragic: Annemarie Desloges, a Canadian diplomat seen here with her husband Robert Munk, was killed in the atrocityTragic: Annemarie Desloges, a Canadian diplomat seen here with her husband Robert Munk, was killed in the atrocity

‘We need to work together to fight the terrorist battle not just here in Kenya. This is not a Kenyan war, this is an international war and we need to join hands and work together to see it effectively destroyed.’

Jonathan Maungo, a private security guard, told Reuters: ‘They entered through blood, that’s how they’ll leave.’

It’s understood that security officials are probing the possible involvement of the fugitive ‘white widow’ of 7/7 London bomber Germaine Lindsay, Samantha Lewthwaite – a key Al Shabaab bomb-maker and fundraiser.

The BBC’s Anne Soy said: ‘This is an upmarket shopping mall – it’s one of the more exclusive ones in Nairobi. It often attracts foreigners and wealthy Kenyans, many of them of Indian descent. This is a situation which is cutting across race, tribes and nationalities.’

Terrified shoppers told of how they huddled in back hallways and prayed they would not be found by the militants.

When the way appeared clear, crying mothers clutching small children and blood-splattered men sprinted out of the four-storey mall.

At one burger restaurant, a man and woman lay in a final embrace after they had been killed, before their bodies were removed. Pop music was left playing.

Members of the Indian community pay their respects at the cremation ceremony of Nehal Vekaria, a 16-year-old female student who was killed during the shooting spree Members of the Indian community pay their respects at the cremation ceremony of Nehal Vekaria, a 16-year-old female student who was killed during the shooting spree

Helping the injured: Bags of blood are seen on a table after Kenyans come in large numbers to donate blood for the victims of the attackHelping the injured: Bags of blood are seen on a table after Kenyans come in large numbers to donate blood for the victims of the attack

Helping out: British High Commissioner to Kenya, Christian Turner (left) lies on a bed after donating blood, following the overwhelming numbers of casualties from the shootingHelping out: British High Commissioner to Kenya, Christian Turner (left) lies on a bed after donating blood, following the overwhelming numbers of casualties from the shooting

ScrambleScramble: People crawl on their stomachs to safety as security forces keep a lookout at the Nairobi mall on Saturday : People rush for safety away from gunfire between police and armed attackers

Scramble: People crawl on their stomachs to safety as security forces keep a lookout at the Nairobi mall on Saturday

Witness Elijah Kamau said the gunmen told Muslims to stand up and leave and that non-Muslims would be targeted, as they began their attack.

The gunmen threw grenades and then opened fire, sending shoppers and staff fleeing for their lives.

Brit Amita Sharma today spoke of her fear for family and friends after hearing they had been caught up in the Nairobi shopping centre siege.

The 41-year-old, from Slough, had been visiting relatives in the Kenyan capital just two weeks ago and said she was stunned by news of the attack at the Westgate Mall.

The events manager said: ‘We’ve spoken to a family friend who hid in the mall’s supermarket for three hours.

‘Staff tried to protect all the customers in the shop by closing all the shutters to stop the attackers getting in.

‘It must have been terrifying for them all. My friend said she could hear all the gunshots and shouting going on outside.

‘Thankfully she was unharmed but she is still very shaken by what has happened.’

Eyewitness Fred Ngoga Gateretse, an official with the African Union, told The New York Times: ‘Believe me, these guys were good shooters. You could tell they were trained.’

Charles Karani, 41, an IT engineer, said: ‘I hid under a car with my daughters, and I saw the men line up maybe 40 people and ask them who was Muslim, and if they were to prove it by saying the name of the Prophet’s mother. Those who got it wrong were shot.

‘There was blood everywhere. Two ladies under the car with me had gunshot wounds on their legs.

‘Another Indian gentlemen was hit in the face by a bullet but he seemed not to be gravely hurt. Other people for sure are dead. I saw four people lying, not moving.

 

Fleeing: A child runs to safety across the shopping mallFleeing: A child runs to safety across the shopping mall

Wounded: A Kenyan policeman sits clutching his stomach alongside his rifle while a colleague exchanges fire with the terroristsWounded: A Kenyan policeman sits clutching his stomach alongside his rifle while a colleague exchanges fire with the terrorists

 

Scared: Clearly distressed, this family join hands as they make their way out of the building. Bullet wounds can be seen in the glass behind themScared: Clearly distressed, this family join hands as they make their way out of the building. Bullet wounds can be seen in the glass behind them

 

Cat and mouse: A security officer points out the location of where some of the terrorists may be hiding to his colleagues, all three of whom have their pistols at the readyCat and mouse: A security officer points out the location of where some of the terrorists may be hiding to his colleagues, all three of whom have their pistols at the ready

 

Protection: A mother and her children lie on the floor as they attempt to hide while the gunmen armed with automatic weapons go on the rampageProtection: A mother and her children lie on the floor as they attempt to hide while the gunmen armed with automatic weapons go on the rampage

 

Terrified: A young in tears is led away form the terror by a police officer Terrified: A young girl in tears is led away form the terror by a police officer

Terror: Armed police guide a woman carrying a child to safety at Westgate Shopping CentreTerror: Armed police guide a woman carrying a child to safety at Westgate Shopping Centre

‘A grenade was thrown and it rolled near us, my daughter said, “Papa, there’s a  grenade” – but thank God it didn’t go off and I kicked it away.’

The gunmen wore white bandanas, Mr Karani said, and appeared to work in teams, each taking control of a different floor of the five-storey building.
He also said officials had confirmed to him that the attacker they arrested was a Kenyan Muslim convert.

Nahashon Mwangi was at work when he received a desperate telephone call from his son, pleading with him to rescue him from imminent death.

‘Dad, I have been shot in the neck and hand. I am bleeding. Come and help me please,’ his 21-year-old son said.

‘It took me about an hour to access the area,’ Mwangi said. ‘I was crying and pleading with the police to save my son. I remember shouting like a kid, crying and crying but they wouldn’t let me through.’

Relief finally came five hours later, when his injured son was among a group of people located and evacuated by security forces who were sweeping the mall shop by shop.

He was rushed to Nairobi’s Aga Khan University Hospital and was undergoing emergency surgery.

‘I pray that he will be OK,’ the shocked father said. ‘Why would these people do this to us?’

Another victim, mall worker Zipporah Wanjiru, emerged from the ordeal alive but in a state of total shock.

‘They were speaking some language I could not understand,’ she said of the attackers. ‘I could not understand anything – but the sound of their voices was scary.’

Many of the injured have been taken to Kenyatta National Hospital, at which a fire broke out this morning, according to reports. The blaze is said to have erupted in the baby unit, with those being cared for evacuated to safety.

To add to the chaos so many people gathered to watch the shocking drama develop that police had to use tear gas to disperse them, according to a Washington Post writer.

Speaking from Nairobi, Daniel Howden, reporter for The Independent, told The BBC that a ‘massive operation’ was still ongoing inside the mall this morning where the gang continued to hold an unknown number of people hostage.

Tweets purporting to be from Al-Shabaab’s official Twitter handle have appeared that describe the attack and state some of the group’s grievances.

The group opposes Kenya’s participation in a peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

One post that there will be ‘no negotiations whatsoever’. It said it had previously warned the Kenyan government that, if they did not remove military forces from Somalia, there would be ‘severe consequences’. Another continued this theme: ‘We’ll not negotiate with the Kenyan govt as long as its forces are invading our country, so reap the bitter fruits of your harvest.’

It also tweeted: ‘For long we have waged war against the Kenyans in our land, now it’s time to shift the battleground and take the war to their land,’

Another tweet said: ‘Kenyans will not appreciate the gravity of the situation without seeing, feeling and experiencing death in all its ghoulish detail.’

This morning a message was posted that read: ‘A 14-hour standoff relayed in 1400 rounds of bullets and 140 characters of vengeance and still ongoing. Good morning Kenya!’

It added that they were ‘still inside the mall, fighting the Kenyan kuffar inside their own turf’ and proclaimed: ‘When justice is denied, it must be enforced. Kenyans were relatively safe in their cities before they invaded us & killed Muslims.’

The organisation claimed it had killed more than 100 Kenyan ‘kuffar’, a derogatory term used to describe non-Muslims.

Terrorist tweets
Updates: It has been claimed that the terrorists were tweeting updates about their attack from the scene Updates: It has been claimed that the terrorists were tweeting updates about their attack from the scene

Safety: Shoppers and shop assistants raise their hands as they are escorted out by armed policeSafety: Shoppers and shop assistants raise their hands as they are escorted out by armed police

Children: A soldier carries one of the survivors to safety as armed police hunt for the gunmenChildren: A soldier carries one of the survivors to safety as armed police hunt for the gunmen

 

Hunt: Armed police search customers taking cover inside a bathroom at the shopping centreHunt: Armed police search customers taking cover inside a bathroom at the shopping centre

 

 

Gunfight: Police are still trying to escort people away from the site where fighting continues Gunfight: Police are still trying to escort people away from the site where fighting continues

 

Hostages: Police say armed men are still in the building and are holding prisoners Hostages: Police say armed men are still in the building and are holding prisoners

 

Deadly: Armed police search Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi for the last remaining gunmenDeadly: Armed police search Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi for the last remaining gunmen

Search: Police scour the centre with guns to try and locate the terrorists still holding hostages Search: Police scour the centre with guns to try and locate the terrorists still holding hostages

Shattered glass: A police officer tries to secure an area inside the Westgate Shopping Centre where gunmen went on a shooting spree in Nairobi Shattered glass: A police officer tries to secure an area inside the Westgate Shopping Centre where gunmen went on a shooting spree in Nairobi

Special forces: The army and elite squads have now been drafted in to help police flush out the gunmenSpecial forces: The army and elite squads have been drafted in to help police flush out the gunmen

Shootout: A police officer takes up position at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi Shootout: A police officer takes up position at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi

Rescue: A policeman carries a baby to safety on the barrel of his gun while a woman ducks for safety behind himRescue: A policeman carries a baby to safety on the barrel of his gun while a woman ducks for safety behind him

 

Stand-off: Soldiers are still searching in and around the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi after armed men attempted to rob a shop Stand-off: Soldiers are still searching in and around the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi after the supposed terrorist attack

 

Nairobi’s mortuary superintendent, Sammy Nyongesa Jacob, said Africans, Asians and Caucasians were among the bodies brought in following the attack.

Speaking from his country residence Chevening, in Kent, William Hague said there had been a claim of responsibility from al-Shabaab but ‘that doesn’t mean we know for certain who has done or is doing this.

‘I think what we do know for certain and what we can say in the United Kingdom for certain is that all of our work and the work of Kenya and other countries neighbouring Somalia to bring stability to Somalia, to defeat terrorism there, will continue.

‘It will never be deterred or prevented by actions of this kind. I know that will be the view of the Kenyan government and the people of Kenya as well.’

He said al-Shabaab had brought ‘terror and great difficulty to Somalia’ and the UK had done a lot of work to tackle the problems in Somalia.

‘It is too early to know for sure who carried out this attack. It is an attack that, as we speak, as far as we know is still continuing so we can’t give any further details.’

Wounded: A security officer helps an injured woman away from the buildingWounded: A security officer helps an injured woman away from the building

 

Injured: A security officer talks to his colleagues shortly after being helped from the scene having been woundedInjured: A security officer talks to his colleagues shortly after being helped from the scene having been wounded

Critical: A victim is wheeled into the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi for emergency treatmentCritical: A victim is wheeled into the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi for emergency treatment

Rescue: A woman is shipped to an ambulance in a shopping trolley by centre staffRescue: A woman is shipped to an ambulance in a shopping trolley by centre staff

 

Devastating: Injured people receive assistance from bypassers at the scene of the shootingDevastating: Injured people receive assistance from bypassers at the scene of the shooting

 

 

Family mall: Customers who had planned a Saturday of shopping were forced to run following a shootout between unidentified armed men and the policeFamily mall: Customers who had planned a Saturday of shopping were forced to run following a shootout between unidentified armed men and the police

He added: ‘These are large numbers of entirely innocent people, that’s why I say it is a particularly callous and cowardly and brutal attack.

‘Sadly significant numbers have been killed. So again I say that the thoughts of the UK are with the people of Kenya at this terrible moment.’

The Foreign Secretary added: ‘Our High Commission staff in Nairobi are working very hard, visiting hospitals, trying to make sure that they are aware of British nationals who might have been in the area or caught up in this.

‘We are sending a rapid deployment team to reinforce that work, which will be particularly important if the situation carries on. We have offered the Kenyan authorities any other assistance and of course we will keep in touch with them about that.’

Relatives of Kenyan president among dead in shopping mall attack

A Downing Street spokesman said David Cameron had spoken to Mr Kenyatta and passed on his ‘sincere condolences’.

Kenya has seen a rise in terror attacks and threats in recent years, some of which are believed to be in retaliation for a military crackdown on al-Shabaab.

The attacks often involve gunmen armed with automatic weapons and grenades, and their targets include bars, nightclubs and restaurants in various parts of the country.

 

Escape: An injured man who managed to flee the attackers is treated by paramedics outside the shopping centreEscape: An injured man who managed to flee the attackers is treated by paramedics outside the shopping centre

There was a suspected al-Shabaab attack which left five dead and three injured at a restaurant in the eastern city of Garissa in January, and in August last year one person was killed and six more were left injured in the Eastleigh area of Nairobi on the eve of a visit by Hillary Clinton, then the United States secretary of state.

Last month 18 US embassies and consulates across the Middle East and Africa were closed after a message between al Qaida officials about plans for a major terror attack was intercepted.

The assault was the biggest single attack in Kenya since al Qaeda’s East Africa cell bombed the US Embassy in Nairobi in 1998, killing more than 200 people. In 2002, the same militant cell attacked an Israeli-owned hotel on the coast and tried to shoot down an Israeli jet in a coordinated strike.

 

Victim: Rescuers attempt to evacuate a man injured in a shootoutVictim: Rescuers attempt to evacuate a man injured in the shooting

The chairwoman of the Commission of the African Union, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, condemned the attack in the ‘strongest possible terms’ and said it underlines ‘the imperative for renewed and reinvigorated efforts to combat terrorism throughout the continent’.

Read more: Daily Mail

Comments (4)

  1. god will get them to face justice sooner than we think. my heart is with you guys at this trying moments.

  2. sorry Kenyans, sorry East Africa, sorry Africa. May almight God heal the World!

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