Al-Shabaab fighters ‘still holding hostages’ as siege continues

2013-09-24 11:00

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Islamist al-Shabaab fighters have claimed to still be holding hostages inside a Nairobi shopping mall, as they continued to battle special forces on the fourth day of a deadly siege.

Sporadic shooting at the upmarket Westgate mall broke out again at dawn, hours after officials had claimed Kenyan troops were in “control” of the sprawling complex.

“The hostages who were being held by the mujahedeen inside Westgate are still alive, looking quite disconcerted but, nevertheless, alive,” al-Shabaab said in a message posted on their latest Twitter account.

At least 62 shoppers and staff have been killed and close to 200 wounded in the siege, but concerns are high that the toll may yet rise.

Security sources said “one or two” militants were barricaded in or around a casino on one of the upper floors of the complex.

Somalia’s al-Shabaab insurgents have claimed the attack, which began midday on Saturday when the armed militants marched into the packed upscale complex, tossing grenades, firing automatic weapons and sending panicked shoppers fleeing.

Bursts of heavy gunfire were heard this morning by an AFP reporter close to the mall.

Al-Shabaab also claimed fighters were there “still holding their ground” as they bragged about the “countless number of dead bodies still scattered inside the mall”.

A string of Twitter accounts run by al-Shabaab have been shut down since the attack began, but the militants have been swift to open new sites.

The extremists also apparently verified as genuine a photograph recently circulating on the internet, purportedly showing two gunmen in black headscarves ambling past a children’s sweet stall in the mall.

The undated photograph, apparently from a security camera, showed their fighters “unruffled and strolling around the mall” in a “sang-froid manner”.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.