Kenya mall attack 'message to Westerners': Shabab

  • AFP, Mogadishu
  • |
  • Updated: Sep 26, 2013 12:48 IST
  • A journalist rescues a woman injured in a shootout between armed men and the police at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya. (Reuters Photo)

  • Nairobi shooting

    A policeman carries a baby to safety after masked gunmen stormed an upmarket mall and sprayed gunfire on shoppers and staff, killing at least 39. ...

  • Nairobi shooting

    Emergency personnel carry a woman to an ambulance in the car park as police search through the Westgate shopping centre for gunmen in Nairobi, Kenya. ...

  • Nairobi shooting

    A cop walks outside the evacuated Westgate shopping mall during a shootout with unidentified armed men in Nairobi, Kenya. (Reuters Photo)

  • Nairobi shooting

    Women carrying children run for safety as armed police hunt gunmen who went on a shooting spree in Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi, Kenya. (Reuters ...

  • Nairobi shooting

    Security forces push an injured person in a shopping trolley past the body of a man from the Westgate shopping centre as police search for ...

  • Nairobi shooting

    Terrified children wait by the body of a man after escaping from the Westgate shopping centre as police search for gunmen in Nairobi. (Reuters Photo)

  • Nairobi shooting

    People come out from hiding under a car next to bodies in a car park as police search for gunmen in Westgate shopping centre in ...

  • Nairobi shooting

    Police take cover outside Westgate shopping centre where gunmen went on a shooting spree in Nairobi, Kenya. (Reuters Photo)

  • Nairobi shooting

    People with children run for safety as armed police hunt gunmen who went on a shooting spree at Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi, Kenya. (Reuters ...

The Nairobi mall carnage in which several foreigners were killed by Islamist fighters was a "message to Westerners" who supported Kenya, Somalia's Shabab chief said in an audio message on Wednesday.

Reclusive rebel supremo Ahmed Abdi Godane said the four-day bloodbath was a warning to Westerners who "backed Kenya's invasion (of Somalia) that has spilled the blood of the Muslims for the interest of their oil companies".

Godane, who called the killing of at least 67 people including the execution of children a "historic operation", said the assault on the upmarket Westgate mall was also a threat of "more bloodshed" if Kenya did not withdraw its troops from Somalia. Read: Kenya mourns as searchers scour mall for victims

The al-Qaeda linked group he co-founded has already claimed responsibility for the shocking assault on the sprawling complex, but it is the first time Godane, for whom America has offered a $7 million bounty, has issued a public statement.

"The Kenyan people, you went to a war that is not yours and which is against your interests," he said, in a speech peppered with the traditional verses of Somali martial poetry. Read: Foreigners in Kenya mall attack 'legitimate target', says Shabab

Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta announced an end to the 80-hour bloodbath late on Tuesday, with the "immense" loss of 61 civilians and six members of the security forces. Dozens more are reported missing. Read: Gujaratis took the biggest hit in Kenya

A plume of black smoke billows over the Westgate Mall, following large explosions and heavy gunfire, in Nairobi. (AP Photo)

"You have squandered your peace and prosperity and lost your boys," Godane added.

"You elected your politicians, you pay the tax to arm the forces of Uhuru that are massacring the Muslims, you supported the decision to go to war."

In one of the worst attacks in Kenya's history, the militants marched into the four-storey, part Israeli-owned mall at midday Saturday, spraying shoppers with automatic weapons fire and tossing grenades. Read: British man arrested in Kenya after mall siege

"Make your choice: pull your forces out of Muslim lands or face more bloodshed on your soil," Godane added.

 

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Gujaratis took the biggest hit in Kenya

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