2013 Nairobi shopping mall attack

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The 2013 Nairobi shopping mall attack was a premeditated killing of customers at the five-storey Westgate Shopping Mall, located in Nairobi, Kenya, by members of the Somali Islamist militia al-Shabaab.[1] The attack was carried out on Saturday 21 October 2013, by at least a dozen members of the insurgent group, reportedly including Muslim convert Samantha Lewthwaite (dubbed by the media as 'The White Widow'), wanted by police over the planned killing of British tourists in Mombasa in 2011.[2] Al-Shabaab has claimed the attack was in response to Kenya's 2011 involvement in the multinational Operation Linda Nchi to oust al-Qaeda backed militants from south and central Somalia after a series of kidnapping of foreign tourists and aid workers inside Kenya.[3]

At noon, masked Al-Shabaab gunmen entered the building's cafe forecourt which was hosting a children's day event.[4] They threw grenades and fired on non-Muslims with assault rifles after separating them from Muslims, and ordering that group to leave.[5] Dozens of customers were taken hostage as Kenyan police arrived, and at least 68 people were killed and 205 wounded during the siege.[6] Those killed included the nephew of Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, Mbugua Mwangi, and his fiancée Rosemary Wahito; Ghanaian poet and writer Kofi Awoonor; Kenyan media personality Ruhila Adatia-Sood; Canadian diplomat Annemarie Desloges;[7] former senior director at UNICEF Dr. Juan Jesús Ortiz-Iruri;[8] prize winning British-Australian architect Ross Langdon and his partner Elif Yavuz, a health advisor for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.[9]

Notes

  1. Nairobi siege: What we know, BBC News, 22 September 2013. Retrieved on 23 September 2013.
  2. Myers, Russell. 'White Widow' Samantha Lewthwaite feared to be behind Nairobi shopping mall massacre, The Mirror, 23 September 2013. Retrieved on 23 September 2013.
  3. Miriri, Duncan, James Macharia. Islamist gunmen hold hostages in Kenya siege after 68 killed, Reuters, 22 September 2013. Retrieved on 23 September 2013.
  4. Somalia's al-Shabab claims Nairobi Westgate Kenya attack, BBC News, 22 September 2013. Retrieved on 23 September 2013.
  5. Straziuso, Jason. Witness: Kenya mall attackers target non-Muslims, Yahoo! News, 21 September 2013. Retrieved on 23 September 2013.
  6. Whitehead, Tom, Mike Pflanz. Nairobi shopping mall attack: three Britons among 68 dead, The Daily Telegraph, 23 September 2013. Retrieved on 23 September 2013.
  7. Kenya standoff: The victims, BBC News, 22 September 2013. Retrieved on 23 September 2013.
  8. Ensor, Josie, Steve Wilson and Mike Pflanz. Nairobi shopping mall attack: September 22 as it happened, The Daily Telegraph, 23 September 2013. Retrieved on 23 September 2013.
  9. Nairobi mall siege: Tributes flow for Tasmanian man Ross Langdon and girlfriend Elif Yavuz, ABC News, 23 September 2013. Retrieved on 23 September 2013.