Israel has offered support after an Islamic extremist gunmen launched terror attacks on a luxury hotel and shopping complex in Nairobi which took 14 lives.
Announcing the end of the operation to secure the DusitD2 complex in the capital, President Uhuru Kenyatta said: “All the terrorists have been eliminated.” In a televised address, he did not say how many attackers were involved, but that more than 700 people were evacuated.
Hours before Kenyatta spoke, sporadic gunfire could be heard from the scene after scores of people were rescued at daybreak during what police called a mopping-up exercise.
The attack involved at least four armed men who invaded the hotel and shops.
Following the attack, The Israeli Embassy in Kenya said: “The State of Israel condemns the horrific terror attack on innocent lives at the DusitD2 Hotel in Nairobi. Yet another attack on innocent people going about their errands. Israel stands with Kenya during this sad moment. We shall continue to fight terror together.”
Israeli Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev took to Twitter to offer support, saying: “Our thoughts & prayers at Israel in UK are with High Commissioner Manoah Esipisu, his team at Kenya Mission UK, and his countrymen at this difficult time.
Yuval Rotem, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, said he was: “Horrified by the terrible news from Nairobi, where the Dusit hotel was attacked by terrorists. As the event unfolds, we stand with the government & people of Kenya in the fight against terrorism. Our thoughts & prayers are with the victims’ families”.
Al-Shabab – the Somalia-based extremist group that is allied to al Qaida – claimed responsibility for the carnage at the DusitD2 complex, which includes bars, restaurants, offices and banks. It is situated in Nairobi’s well-to-do Westlands neighbourhood, popular with many foreign expatriates.
Al-Shabab carried out the 2013 attack at the nearby Westgate Mall in Nairobi that killed 67 people.
Like the attack at the Westgate Mall, this one appeared aimed at wealthy Kenyans and foreigners. It came a day after a magistrate ruled that three men must stand trial in connection with the Westgate Mall siege.
An unnamed Briton is thought to have been among the victims as well as an American citizen, with no Israeli citizens yet reported as being caught up in the carnage.
Al-Shabab has vowed retribution against Kenya for sending troops to Somalia to fight it since 2011.
The latest carnage demonstrated al-Shabab’s continued ability to carry out spectacular acts of bloodshed despite a dramatic increase in US air strikes against it under President Donald Trump.
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