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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

World

Timeline: Nairobi shopping mall terror attack
AFP
Nairobi, September 24, 2013
First Published: 14:24 IST(24/9/2013)
Last Updated: 04:54 IST(25/9/2013)

Below is a snapshot of developments in the siege of a Nairobi shopping mall by Somalia's al Qaeda linked militants, which since Saturday has left at least 62 people dead, 63 missing and some 200 injured.

*Saturday, September 21
At midday, about a dozen attackers march into the four-storey Westgate Mall, spraying shoppers with machinegun fire and tossing grenades.

Police quickly say at least 13 people have been killed and at least seven hostages taken. Police go shop-to-shop to evacuate terrified people from the Westgate, which is popular with wealthy Kenyans and expatriates and generally packed on weekends.

The gunmen, masked and dressed in black, were speaking in a foreign language, possibly Arabic or Somali, and were seen executing a number of shoppers, an eyewitness says.

The US state department says Americans were among those wounded.

Somalia's Shabab rebels claim responsibility for the attack, saying on Twitter that it was in retaliation for Kenya's military intervention in Somalia.

It claims that its fighters have killed 100 people in the attack.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta says 39 people were killed and 150 wounded in the attack in a televised address to the nation. A nephew and his fiancee were among those confirmed killed.

The French presidency says two French citizens were killed.

*Sunday, September 22
Canada announces that two of its citizens, including a diplomat, were killed.

The UN Security Council condemns the attack.

The Kenyan government says an unknown number of hostages are still being held "in several locations" of the mall. It says no communication has as yet been established with the Islamists.

Renowned Ghanaian poet and statesman Kofi Awoonor, 78, is killed, Ghana's president says.

British Prime Minister David Cameron says three Britons have been killed. A fourth is announced a day later.

Fighting resumes in early evening in the mall, where Israeli agents join Kenyan efforts to end the siege. Since the day before more than 1,000 people have been brought to safety.

Late in the evening the Kenyan army says most of the hostages have now been rescued and most of the complex is secure. It said it is seeking to bring a "speedy conclusion" to the siege.

*Monday, September 23
Heavy gunfire and loud explosions are heard at the mall as Kenyan troops battle the Shebab.

The Shabab spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage threatens to order the killing of the remaining hostages.

The International Criminal Court excuses Kenyan vice president William Ruto from his trial on charges of crimes against humanity for a week so he can deal with the crisis.

Security forces are locked in a fierce, final battle with the Shebab, as huge explosions and a barrage of heavy gunfire echo out of the mall complex.

Security forces free some but not all of the hostages, Kenya's police chief says, adding: "We're increasingly gaining advantage of the attackers."

In the afternoon, interior minister Joseph Ole Lenku says security forces will soon end the siege. "We are in control of all the floors, the terrorists are running and hiding in some stores... There is no room for escape." He says two attackers have been killed. The army chief says the mall attackers came from different countries.

Police say more than 10 people have been arrested for questioning over the attack.

Late Monday, an interior ministry spokesman says all hostages are believed to have been evacuated, and Kenyan troops are "in control".

*Tuesday, September 24
Kenyan foreign minister Amina Mohamed says "two to three Americans" and a British woman are among attackers.

Security sources say Kenyan special forces are still battling "one or two" militants who are isolated in or around a casino located on one of the upper floors of the building.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that a four-day siege by Islamist gunmen of a Nairobi shopping mall was over, with the "immense" loss of 61 civilians and six members of the security forces.


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