September 24, 2013
NAIROBI — One of the Islamist militants who stormed an upscale shopping mall here on Saturday wore a white turban, witnesses said, while others wore black head scarves. Most were in civilian clothes, but a few donned camouflage fatigues. Some carried sophisticated machine guns, and others wielded the AK-47 rifles widely used by African insurgents. Most of the extremists who seized the mall were young and barked orders in English.
On Tuesday, the bloody standoff stretched into its fourth afternoon, despite repeated proclamations by Kenyan officials that they had the crisis under control. Elite Kenyan security forces combed the Westgate Premier Shopping Mall, seeking to capture or kill the militants who remained holed up inside.
Sporadic gunfire was heard and smoke continued to rise from the building. Several militants from al-Shabab, a group allied with al-Qaeda, appeared dug in at the shopping center, determined to fight to the death.
In messages posted on Twitter, the militia said it was still holding hostages, who were “looking quite disconcerted but nevertheless, alive.” Another tweet said: “Mujahideen are still holding their ground #westgate.”
This article was posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 10:52 am