OVERVIEW: Kenya hotel siege over… all attackers eliminated, says President Kenyatta

2019-01-16 09:45

Another explosion and gunfire have been heard at the hotel complex in Kenya's capital even after authorities announced that all was secure following Tuesday's attack. Follow the live updates

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Last Updated at 15:30
16 Jan 12:42

Friends and relatives of some of those killed in the Islamic extremist attack in Kenya's capital have gathered at Nairobi's mortuary to make arrangements for burial.

Mohamed Yasin Jama lost two work colleagues. He said he saw a photo circulating on a WhatsApp group that identified one of his colleagues but didn't want to speculate until he saw the bodies of both workers at the mortuary late Tuesday. – AP


16 Jan 12:41

The British high commissioner in Kenya says at least one British national has been killed in the hotel attack in Nairobi.

High Commissioner Nic Hailey made the announcement in a post on Twitter, saying that "we are providing support to his family and friends at this very difficult time.

The high commissioner urges people to avoid the hotel area as the security operation is "still ongoing" on Wednesday.

The United States has said an American also was among the 14 reported dead in Tuesday's attack. - AP


16 Jan 12:25

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga says "divisions are what terrorists thrive on" and is appealing for unity following the deadly attack on a hotel and shopping complex in Nairobi.

Odinga, who lost to President Uhuru Kenyatta in a bitterly disputed election in 2017, said Wednesday that the Islamic extremist gunmen did not care about the ethnic, religious or political affiliation of their victims.

"Their mission was to cause pain and fear and they proceeded to do so without seeking details," Odinga said.

Al-Shabaab, the Somalia-based extremist group, claimed responsibility for the carnage at the DusitD2 hotel complex. - Associated Press


16 Jan 10:51

President Kenyatta says authorities will "pursue relentlessly" those allegedly involved in the funding, planning and execution of Tuesday's attack on a hotel complex in the capital.

Kenyatta said in a televised address on Wednesday that "multiple security efforts are underway to detect, deter, disrupt and defeat any terrorist operative or group."

He said over 700 people have been evacuated to safety by rescue teams.


16 Jan 10:33

President Kenyatta has said that more than 700 people were evacuated during the security operation and he urged Kenyans to "go back to work without fear," saying the east African country is safe for citizens and visitors.

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. - Associated Press


16 Jan 10:11

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta says 14 people were killed in Tuesday's attack on a hotel complex in the capital and he declared the operation to neutralise the attackers is over.

Kenyatta did not say on Wednesday how many attackers were involved.

He urged Kenyans to "go back to work without fear", saying the east African country is safe for citizens and visitors.

Al-Shabaab - the Somalia-based Islamic extremist group that is allied to al-Qaeda — claimed responsibility for the carnage at the hotel complex, which includes bars, restaurants, offices and banks and is in Nairobi's well-to-do Westlands neighbourhood. - Associated Press


16 Jan 09:59
President Uhuru Kenyatta has said that a siege by suspected militants in Nairobi is over and all the attackers have been "eliminated". BBC

16 Jan 09:52
Kenya president says 14 innocent people were killed in Tuesday's attack on hotel complex; declares attack over. - Associated Press

16 Jan 09:41
Continued bursts of gunfire are heard from the hotel complex as Kenyan authorities continue to secure the scene of the attack. Associated Press

16 Jan 09:36

An injured member of the Kenyan special forces has been taken from the scene of Tuesday's attack in an ambulance.

An Associated Press journalist saw a member of the elite unit known as RECCE Squad being taken out of the hotel complex on Wednesday before he was put into an ambulance.

Kenyan police said early on Wednesday there was still an active security operation ongoing after they announced overnight that all buildings in the hotel complex had been secured.

Sporadic gunfire still rang out through the morning. CCTV footage owned by local media in Kenya purports to show at least four gunmen storming the hotel complex on Tuesday afternoon.

At least 15 people have been killed in the attack claimed by the Somali Islamic extremist group al-Shabaab. - Associated Press


16 Jan 09:11
Kenyan Security Forces arrive to the scene of the on-going terrorist attack at a hotel complex in Nairobi's Westlands suburb on Wednesday. (Picture: AFP)

16 Jan 09:09
A woman is rescued at the scene of the on-going terrorist attack at a hotel complex in Nairobi's Westlands suburb on Wednesday. (Picture: AFP)

16 Jan 09:01

Al-Shabaab — the Somalia-based extremist group that is allied to al-Qaeda — claimed responsibility for the carnage at the hotel complex, which includes bars, restaurants, offices and banks and is in Nairobi's well-to-do Westlands neighborhood.

At least 15 people were killed in the attack which started Tuesday afternoon

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to address the nation this morning about the extremist attack on a luxury hotel and shopping complex in Nairobi. - Associated Press



16 Jan 09:00

The Latest: Nairobi hotel managers "devastated" by attack

The Bangkok-based management of the Nairobi hotel that is part of the complex attacked by extremists on Tuesday says it is "devastated" by the assault.

Dusit International, managers of the Nairobi DusitD2 hotel, says in a statement on Wednesday it is "in constant contact with the authorities and would like to thank them for their swift response".

The statement said the hotel is closed and guests and those with reservations have been found accommodation in other hotels in Nairobi. - Associated Press


16 Jan 08:54

16 Jan 08:53

16 Jan 08:52

A picture of a woman serving tea to police officers at the scene of the attack has gone viral on social media.

See the picture below:


16 Jan 08:28

Kenyan police say there is still "an active security operation" in and around the hotel complex attacked by Islamic extremist gunmen amid sporadic gunfire from the scene.

At least 15 people were killed in the attack which started on Tuesday by suicide car bombs followed by at least four armed men who invaded the hotel and shops.

Police on Wednesday urged people to stay away from the crime scene until it is declared fully safe.

Scores of people were rescued at daybreak as police continued what they called a mopping-up exercise.

Gunfire has been ringing out at the scene even after authorities announced that all was secure following Tuesday's attack. - Associated Press


16 Jan 08:26
A woman reacts as she is reunited with family after being evacuated from the DusitD2 compound in Nairobi after a blast followed by a gun battle rocked the upmarket hotel complex. (Picture: AFP)

16 Jan 08:23
Grief-stricken Kenyans flocked to a morgue in the capital, Nairobi, on Wednesday to look for loved ones among at least 15 people killed in a militant attack on a hotel complex, as workers still trapped pleaded for help. – Reuters

16 Jan 08:19

Dozens of people are reuniting with friends and family after being trapped for more than 12 hours in a hotel complex under attack in Kenya's capital.

Survivor Lucy Wanjiru says she had been trying to flee when she saw a woman on the ground floor get shot.

Wanjiru ended up in a washroom with several other scared people. Her friend Cynthia Kibe stayed in contact with her by phone overnight.

Kibe says, "I think I panicked when she told me that the gunshots are next to her. I had to keep telling her 'Just wait, help is on the way, they are almost there, they are almost there.'

And then at one point she was like, 'Please tell me I am getting out of here alive' and then it was just like my breaking point." - Associated Press


16 Jan 08:16

 The attack was claimed by the al-Qaeda-linked Somali group al-Shabaab, which has repeatedly targeted Kenya since it sent its army into Somalia in October 2011 to fight the jihadist group.

The attack at DusitD2 is the first in Nairobi since gunmen stormed the city's Westgate shopping mall in 2013, killing at least 67 people.

On April 2, 2015, another Shabaab attack killed 148 people at the university in Garissa, eastern Kenya.

The Westgate attack resulted in many upscale establishments and shopping centres in the capital - including the Dusit - putting up strict security barriers to check cars and pedestrians.

Several Nairobi establishments popular with westerners announced on social media on Tuesday that they had closed for security reasons.

In its statement, the group noted the attack came exactly three years after its fighters overran a Kenyan military base in Somalia.

"This attack on Nairobi hotel came as Kenyans and their media are commemorating (the) El Adde attack," it said.

The Shabaab claimed it killed more than 200 soldiers in that assault. The government has refused to give a toll or disclose details. - AFP


16 Jan 08:14

CCTV footage broadcast on television showed four attackers, clad all in black and heavily armed, entering a courtyard in the compound at the start of the assault.

John Maingi said there had been "a flash of lights and a loud bang" at the Secret Garden restaurant where he works.

"When I peeped outside I saw a human leg which has been cut off. We hid in the room and then some police officers rescued us," he said.

Reuben Kimani, a barista who was rescued after several hours trapped inside the hotel, said he recognised one of the attackers as a client."I knew one of them because he had a big scar on one of his hands," he said. "I saw them. They shot six of my friends, four didn't die but two succumbed." - AFP



16 Jan 08:12

The second police officer said that at one point they had been sure the attackers had been neutralised after a long period without shooting, however gunfire resumed again after 02:00.

Further explosions and gunfire were heard shortly before dawn, with no official word on how many people were still trapped inside.

"There is a floor where they are shooting from, we still believe there are people there," he said, after reports that a large number of people had fled upstairs.

'Very confident' attackers

Kenyan police chief Joseph Boinnet said the attack began with an explosion targeting three cars in the parking lot and a suicide bombing in the foyer of the Dusit hotel.

As the explosion and gunfire rang out in the leafy Westlands suburb, hundreds of terrified office workers barricaded themselves in the complex while some fled.

"We have no idea what is happening. Gunshots are coming from multiple directions," said Simon Crump, an employee at an international firm who was hiding with his colleagues.

Crump was among a first wave of people evacuated from the office buildings surrounding the Dusit hotel, after an hour of sustained gunfire.

A number of heavily-armed foreign forces, who appeared to be from embassies based in Nairobi, were at the scene alongside Kenyan security officers.

One survivor rescued from the building told a local television station the attackers were "very confident; they were people who knew what they were doing".



16 Jan 08:09

At least 15 people have died in an Islamist attack on an upmarket hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenyan police sources said Wednesday, as fresh explosions and gunfire rang out in the siege which stretched into its second day.

Security forces worked throughout the night to secure the DusitD2 compound, which includes a 101-room hotel, spa, restaurant and office buildings, after an attack claimed by Al-Shabaab Islamists on Tuesday afternoon.

At least one suicide bomber blew himself up at the hotel while gunmen sprayed fire before engaging security forces and holing themselves up at the premises as civilians fled or barricaded themselves in their offices awaiting rescue.

"We have 15 people dead as of now and that includes foreigners," a police source said on condition of anonymity.

Among the dead was an American citizen, a State Department official said.

A second police source confirmed the toll but warned "there are areas not yet accessed but that's what we know so far.

"After 12 hours trapped inside the complex, a group of dozens of people was freed at 03:30, according to an AFP journalist at the scene, followed by fresh gunfire and a detonation.

"We still believe there are two or three attackers in specific locations," the first police officer said. "The situation is far from over." - AFP



16 Jan 07:58

IN BRIEF

At least 15 people were killed in the attack which started on Tuesday by suicide car bombs followed by at least four armed men who invaded the hotel and shops.

Police on Wednesday urged people to stay away from the crime scene until it is declared fully safe.

Scores of people were rescued at daybreak as police continued what they called a mopping-up exercise.

Gunfire has been ringing out at the scene even after authorities announced that all was secure following Tuesday's attack. - Associated Press


16 Jan 07:57

THE LATEST

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to address the nation this morning about the extremist attack on a luxury hotel and shopping complex in Nairobi.

At least 15 people were killed in the attack which started on Tuesday afternoon.

Somalia's Islamic extremist rebel group, al-Shabaab, claimed responsibility for the attack, which started with multiple suicide car bombs which breeched the security gates of the complex and then was followed by an invasion of at least four armed men.

Kenyan police say there is still "an active security operation" in and around the hotel complex attacked by Islamic extremist gunmen amid sporadic gunfire from the scene. - Associated Press



16 Jan 07:53

Kenya's national police chief says the coordinated attack on a Nairobi hotel began with an explosion that targeted three vehicles outside a bank while a suicide bomber blew up in the hotel lobby.

Joseph Boinnet says the lobby blast severely injured a number of hotel guests. - Associated Press


16 Jan 07:50

Survivors of the deadly attack on a Nairobi hotel complex describe a shattering explosion and the bodies of people shot to death while sitting at a cafe.

Enoch Kibet, who works as a cleaner there, says: "We were changing our shifts and that is when I heard a loud blast and people were screaming."

She crawled out of a gate in the basement. She says that "I couldn't believe I was alive. The blast was so loud and shook the whole complex."

A waitress who only gave her first name, Lily, trembled as she described the attackers shooting people at the Secret Garden cafe and people lying on tables bleeding.

She says that "these are terrorists and they need to be stopped because there are many people in this complex". - Associated Press 


16 Jan 07:48

A State Department spokesperson says the United States condemns the "senseless act of violence" at an upscale hotel in Kenya's capital.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is condemning "the horrible terrorist act" - Associated Press


16 Jan 07:46

Kenya's Citizen TV is airing what it calls surveillance footage that shows at least four attackers as they storm an upscale hotel complex in Nairobi.

Two of the gunmen are shown shooting in the direction of a car. Later the four attackers split up and go in different directions. - Associated Press


16 Jan 07:45

Somalia's government is expressing its "strong condemnation" of the deadly attack on an upscale hotel complex in Kenya's capital.

The Somalia-based al-Shabaab extremist group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Somalia's foreign ministry in a statement says the attack by at least four gunmen "once again reveals the hideous face of terrorism".

The statement expresses its solidarity with those affected.

Al-Shabaab has vowed retribution against Kenya for sending troops to Somalia since 2011. The al-Qaeda-linked group has killed hundreds of people in Kenya. - Associated Press


16 Jan 07:41

Some family members say their loved ones are still trapped inside a Nairobi hotel complex even after Kenyan authorities said all buildings were secure following a deadly attack.

"I have also spoken to my brother just now and we are exchanging text messages," says a woman who gives her name only as Nelly.

"He is in there and he has told me they are hiding with over 10 other people." She says he works in a building next to the hotel.

"Why is the government saying they have rescued them?" she asks.

Gunfire has been heard since Kenya's interior minister announced the scene had been secured.

Calvin Kerich says he has been in touch with his cousin, another employee who is still trapped at the scene. - Associated Press


16 Jan 07:39

A Kenyan police officer says 15 bodies have been taken to the morgue after an attack on a luxury hotel complex in Nairobi claimed by the al-Shabaab extremist group.

The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to reporters.

The al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab, based in neighbouring Somalia, has asserted that 47 people were killed but it gave no details in a post by its Shahada news agency.

Families have said some people are still hiding inside the complex. - Associated Press


16 Jan 07:38
Kenyan security forces get out of a car after a blast followed by a gun battle rocked a upmarket hotel complex in Nairobi. (Picture: AP)

16 Jan 07:32

The US State Department says an American citizen was among those killed on Tuesday when extremists stormed a luxury hotel in the capital of Kenya.

Africa's Islamic militant group, al-Shabaab, claimed responsibility for the attack, which involved explosions and people being gunned down at cafe tables.

It's the same group that carried out the 2013 attack at the nearby Westgate Mall in Nairobi that left 67 people dead.

A department official confirmed that a US citizen was killed, but declined to identify the individual.

The official said the State Department is offering condolences to the victim's family and friends.

Out of respect for relatives of the deceased, the department declined further comment. The official was not authorised to discuss the matter publicly and spoke only on condition of anonymity. - Associated Press


16 Jan 07:30

Kenya's Interior Ministry has said authorities are "mopping up" the scene but have not given details on the fate of the attackers.

It is not known if any are still at large. The al-Shabaab extremist group has claimed responsibility. - Associated Press


16 Jan 07:29

Kenyan police say there is still "an active security operation" in and around the hotel complex attacked by Islamic extremist gunmen on Tuesday amid sporadic gunfire from the scene.

Police are urging people to stay away from the crime scene until it is declared safe. Scores of people were rescued at daybreak as police continued what they called a mopping-up exercise.

Gunfire has been ringing out at the scene even after authorities announced that all was secure following Tuesday's attack. - Associated Press


16 Jan 07:24

Dozens of people are reuniting with friends and family after being trapped for more than 12 hours in a hotel complex under attack in Kenya's capital.

Survivor Lucy Wanjiru says she had been trying to flee when she saw a woman on the ground floor get shot.

Wanjiru ended up in a washroom with several other scared people. Her friend Cynthia Kibe stayed in contact with her by phone overnight.

Kibe says, "I think I panicked when she told me that the gunshots are next to her. I had to keep telling her 'Just wait, help is on the way, they are almost there, they are almost there.'

And then at one point she was like, 'Please tell me I am getting out of here alive' and then it was just like my breaking point."- Associated Press


16 Jan 07:24
A woman (behind the woman in front) is reunited with her family after her evacuation from DusitD2 compound in Nairobi after a blast followed by a gun battle rocked the upmarket hotel complex. (Picture: AFP)

16 Jan 07:24

Another explosion and gunfire have been heard at the hotel complex in Kenya's capital even after authorities announced that all was secure following Tuesday's attack.

The gunfire came not long after scores of survivors who had been holed up in the Nairobi complex overnight were freed.

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