Kenya Charges Four Somalis In Bloody Mall Attack

Four Somali men were charged in Kenya on Monday in connection with the Sept. 21 attack on a Nairobi mall that killed dozens. The four suspects, who are not accused of being gunmen at the Westgate Mall, are charged with helping to carry out the attack by “supporting a terrorist group,” according to the charge sheet, AFP reports. All four men pleaded not guilty, and were remanded into custody without a lawyer. At least 67 people were killed in September when gunmen attacked the upscale mall, where witnesses described gunman executing people at close range. All of the gunman are believed to have been killed during a four-day siege following the attack. [AFP]b.gif?host=world.time.com&blog=19871253&post=113743&subd=timeglobalspin&ref=&feed=1

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Kenya Mall Attack: Recovered Bodies May Be Gunmen

Bodies recovered from the Westgate shopping center on Thursday are probably those of two attackers, according to a Kenyan official. Ndung’u Gethenji, who heads the committee investigating the Sept. 21 attack, said AK47 rifles were found next to the bodies, ruling out the possibility that they were soldiers since the army does not use those weapons. Meanwhile, one of the suspected gunmen has been identified as Norwegian Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow, 23, who was born in Somalia, the BBC reports. More than three weeks on, it remains unclear how many gunmen were involved in the attack and whether any escaped. Authorities initially reported that 10 to 15 militants were at the mall but surveillance video appears to show only four men. [BBC] b.gif?host=world.time.com&blog=19871253&post=110088&subd=timeglobalspin&ref=&feed=1

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Red Cross: 39 Still Missing After Mall Attack

(NAIROBI, Kenya) — More than three dozen people remain unaccounted for almost a week after the end of the four-day terrorist attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Mall that killed at least 67, the head of the Kenyan Red Cross said Monday. The Red Cross’ report of 39 missing people conflicts with the government’s contention that there are no remaining missing people from the attack that began Sept. 21, and suggests that the death toll could still rise as investigators dig through the rubble of the partially collapsed mall. “The numbers with us are what we are still showing as open cases that are reported to us,” Red Cross head Abbas Gullet told The Associated Press by telephone. “The only way to verify this is when the government declares the Westgate Mall 100 percent cleared — then we can resolve it,” he said. At least 61 civilians and 6 security troops were killed in the attack. Government reports on the number of terrorists killed, however, have been confusing and at times contradictory. President Uhuru Kenyatta said last week that five attackers had been killed by security forces’ gunfire and his office said one or more might be trapped under the building’s rubble. In an interview on Citizen TV late Sunday night, however, Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said that two attackers had been hit by gunfire and that the building was thought to have collapsed on three others. Later in the interview he said all five Islamic extremist members were thought to be under the rubble, and that no bodies of any terrorist suspects had been recovered. “We are sure they never got out of the building, so let the forensic examination establish the exact truth,” he said. When pressed about the government’s initial estimate that 10 to 15 terrorists could have been involved in the attack, Lenku conceded that the figure could have been wrong, or that some could have escaped. “We do not rule out the possibility that when we were evacuating people in the first stages of the operation………

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Al-Shabab Militants Threaten to Kill Remaining Hostages in Nairobi Mall

As the standoff between Islamist militants and Kenyan forces at an upmarket mall in Nairobi entered its third day on Monday, the Al-Qaeda-linked Somalian rebels threatened to begin killing their hostages. “Israelis and Kenyan forces have tried to enter Westgate [mall] by force but they could not, the mujahideen will kill the hostages if the enemies use force,” said al-Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage in an online statement quoted by Reuters. (More: Terror in Nairobi: Behind al-Shabaab’s War With Kenya) Sustained gunfire and explosions were heard coming from the Westgate mall early Monday morning. Sixty-eight people have been killed and more than 170 injured since the terrorists entered the shopping center on Saturday, strafing civilians with machine gun fire and lobbing hand grenades. All efforts are underway to bring this matter to a speedy conclusion — Kenya Defence Forces (@kdfinfo) September 22, 2013 While Kenya’s defense forces say that a majority of the hostages have been rescued from the besieged shopping center, an unspecified number of people remain in al-Shabab’s hands in the mall’s supermarket, where the militants are reportedly holed up. According to a report in the New York Times, the Mumbai style attack on civilians in Nairobi is believed to have coincided with an assault targeting African Union troops in Mogadishu. The Somalian rebels have long held a vendetta against their neighbors since Kenya sent ground troops into Somalia in 2011. In the past year, al-Shabab has faced major set backs after being dislodged from its coastal stronghold in Kismayo in 2012 by Kenyan troops and ceding strategic ground to African Union forces. [AFP]

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