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Islamic group claims responsibility for terror attack at upscale Kenyan hotel complex

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Jihad terrorists have attacked a luxury hotel complex in Nairobi, killing a number of people. Somalia-based Muslim group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for an attack at an upscale hotel complex in Kenya’s capital on Monday that sent people fleeing from the scene shortly after explosions and gunfire erupted.

The attack began at about 15:00 local time (12:00 GMT). The gunmen threw bombs at vehicles in the car park before entering the lobby, where one blew himself up, Kenyan police chief Joseph Boinnet told reporters.

A woman working in a neighbouring building told Reuters news agency: “I just started hearing gunshots, and then started seeing people running away raising their hands up and some were entering the bank to hide for their lives.”

Police then rushed to the scene. One officer told the BBC’s Ferdinand Omondi at the scene: “Things are not good. People are dying.”

Al-Shabab claims responsibility for terror attack at upscale Kenyan hotel complex

Katherine Lam | Fox News January 15, 2019:

DRAMATIC VIDEO: Fear and carnage after terror group Al-Shabab attacks Nairobi hotel

Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for an attack at an upscale hotel complex in Kenya’s capital on Monday that left an unconfirmed number of people killed and sent others fleeing from the building as authorities continue to search buildings hours after the assault began.

The suspected terror attack at the complex in Nairobi’s Westlands neighborhood — which includes a large hotel known as DusitD2, banks and offices — began around 3 p.m. Tuesday with an explosion targeting three vehicles outside a bank. A suicide bomber then blew up in the hotel lobby as people rushed to safety or took shelter inside the buildings, Kenyan National Police said in a statement.

By 8:30 p.m., officials were still at the complex combing through buildings, freeing people and confronting possible attackers.

“We regret to confirm that at approximately 3 p.m. today [Tuesday], a group of armed assailants attacked the Dusit Complex in a suspected terror attack. Security and emergency teams immediately responded to the incident and have cordoned off the area. The situation is being managed and residents are being screened and evacuated from the area,” police said in a statement.

Al-Shabab claimed responsibility on Monday for the attack at an upscale hotel complex in Kenya’s capital Nairobi.

It’s unclear the number of casualties, but a Kenyan police officer who was among the first on the scene of the attack said: “There was no time to count the dead but it is true that there are people who are dead.”

The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said some bodies were in restaurants downstairs and that colleagues saw others in offices upstairs scattered among broken glass and blood. A witness said he saw five bodies at the hotel entrance alone — and there could be scores more dead.

He said that other people were shouting for help and “when we rushed back to try to rescue them, gunshots started coming from upstairs, and we had to duck because they were targeting us and we could see two guys shooting.”

NEW AL QAEDA CELL FORMS IN BURKINA FASO, AS TERROR GROUP CEMENTS FOOTHOLD IN AFRICA
Al-Shabab’s reign of terror has blighted the country for years, killing hundreds of people. Tuesday’s incident comes on the third anniversary of the battle of El Adde, when al-Shabab extremists launched an assault at a Kenyan military base in Somalia, killing scores of people.

Al-Shabab’s reign of terror has blighted the country for years, killing hundreds of people. Tuesday’s incident comes on the third anniversary of the battle of El Adde, when al-Shabab extremists launched an assault at a Kenyan military base in Somalia, killing scores of people. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

Police said they were at the scene to “engage the attackers.” It’s unclear how many assailants took part in the assault.

“We are aware that armed criminals are holding up in the hotel and specialist forces are now currently flushing them out. However, we regret to inform that there have been injuries in the attack and we are in the process of confirming the numbers and types of injuries incurred,” police said. “We have been vigilant throughout the holiday season and therefore all public and other hotel premises remain under close watch. Reports from throughout the country indicate that everything remains calm and normal.”

US AIRSTRIKE WIPED OUT AL-SHABAB CAMP, INTEL OFFICIALS SAY

Several people who worked in the buildings that were under attack told Reuters some of their colleagues were still inside hiding under desks.
Al-Shabab said its fighters were still inside the complex in Nairobi’s Westlands neighborhood.

Al-Shabab said its fighters were still inside the complex in Nairobi’s Westlands neighborhood.

“It is terrible. What I have seen is terrible. I have seen a human as I ran out and there is what looks like mincemeat all over,” Charles Njenga, who was running from the scene, told the AP.

“I have been hiding. My colleagues were running everywhere,” another man said, adding that he hid in his office. “I didn’t see an attacker. Yeah, it was a terrorist attack. I think so.”

A Somali diplomat said Somali officials who were at the Nairobi hotel for meetings may still be trapped inside.

The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi issued a security alert shortly after reports of the attack emerged.

‘WHITE WIDOW’ TERRORIST KILLED BY RUSSIAN SNIPER, REPORTS SAY

“#Kenya Security Alert: Reports of gunfire and explosions in the vicinity of the Dusit II Hotel, in the Westlands neighborhood of #Nairobi. Notify friends & family of your safety. Avoid the area & move or remain in known safe areas until further notice,” the alert stated.

Security forces are seen at the scene of a blast in Nairobi.

Al-Shabab’s reign of terror has blighted the country for years, killing hundreds of people. Tuesday’s incident comes on the third anniversary of the battle of El Adde, when al-Shabab extremists launched an assault at a Kenyan military base in Somalia, killing scores of people.

In September 2013, four masked men stormed the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, leaving 67 people dead and more than 200 people wounded. Al-Shabab later said it attacked the mall because Kenya had sent troops to Somalia to help the UN-backed government.

A magistrate ruled Monday that three men charged in the 2013 mall attack must stand trial.

The hotel complex in Nairobi’s Westlands neighborhood is about a mile from Westgate Mall on a relatively quiet, tree-lined road in what is considered one of the most secure parts of the city. The hotel’s website says it is “cocooned away from the hustle and bustle in a secure and peaceful haven.”

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