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Horn of Africa This Week

Hostage crisis in Nairobi continues

In an attack that occurred on Saturday in Kenya’s capital Nairobi as many as 69 people are confirmed dead and more than 100 wounded.

Masked men took over Westgate mall early Saturday and are believed to be holding around 40 people hostage. President Kenyatta’s nephew, the nephew’s fiancé, Canadian diplomats, British and French citizens, and Ghanaian professor and poet Kofi Awoonor are among the dead. The Somali-based militant group Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack saying that Kenya should discontinue military operations in Somalia.

Heidi Vogt of the Wall Street Journal wrote,

Kenyan security forces had said late Sunday that they were making a final push against the 10-15 attackers inside and that they expected the standoff to end that night. Instead the country continued to wait anxiously for the end to a siege that began Saturday, targeting a lunchtime crowd filled with families—both Kenyan and foreign.

It was unclear how many people were trapped inside and whether they were being held hostage or were in hiding. Red Cross estimates put the number still missing at about 40.

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