Somali rebels kill 39 in Nairobi shopping mall bloodbath
NAIROBI (AFP) - Masked gunmen stormed a packed upmarket shopping mall in Nairobi on Saturday, killing 39 people and wounding 150 more in a massacre claimed by Somalia's Al Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels.
The rebels said the carnage was in direct retaliation for Kenya's military intervention in Somalia, where African Union troops are battling the Islamists.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a televised address to the nation that he had "personally lost family members in the Westgate attack", but said the country had "overcome terrorist attacks before, and we will defeat them again." "Our security forces are in the process of neutralising the attackers and securing the mall," he said, as security operations went on late into the night - nearly 12 hours after the assault began.
"They want to cause fear and despondency in our country, but we will not be cowed," Mr Kenyatta said, adding: "Terrorism is a philosophy of cowards." Kenyan police described the attackers as a well-organised "terror gang" numbering around 10.