Somalia‘s militant group al-Shabaab is claiming responsibility for the attack on a Nairobi mall on Saturday that has killed at least 30 people, saying it was retribution for Kenyan forces’ 2011 push into Somalia. The group threatened more attacks.

As night fell in the Kenyan city, hostages remained inside the mall, but officials didn’t or couldn’t say how many. Two groups of army special forces troops had moved inside as the stand-off stretched into its ninth hour.

Police and military surrounded the huge complex as helicopters buzzed overhead. A reporter said he saw a wounded Kenyan soldier put into an ambulance at nightfall, an indication, perhaps, of a final shoot-out inside.

Witnesses said at least five gunmen including at least one woman first attacked an outdoor cafe at Nairobi’s Westgate mall, a new shopping centre that hosts Nike, Adidas and Bose stores. The mall’s ownership is Israeli, and security experts have long said the structure made an attractive terrorist target.

The attack began shortly after noon with bursts of gunfire and grenades. Shoppers expatriates and rich Kenyans fled in any direction that might be safe: into back corners of stores, back service hallways and bank vaults. Over the next several hours, pockets of people poured out of the mall as undercover police moved in. Some of the wounded were being transported in shopping carts. see more

source: Guardian UK