West­gate shop­ping mall mas­sacre


On Septem­ber 21, 2013, uniden­ti­fied gun­men attacked the up­scale West­gate shop­ping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, killing 66 per­sons in­clud­ing 60 civil­ians and six Kenyan sol­diers. Five of the at­tack­ers were killed in counter op­er­a­tions. The at­tack lasted un­til Septem­ber 24 with the at­tack­ers hold­ing hostages and later en­gag­ing in gun bat­tles with the Kenyan se­cu­rity forces. Over 200 peo­ple were re­port­edly wounded in the mass shoot­ing.

The Is­lamist group al-Shabab claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the in­ci­dent, which it char­ac­terised as retri­bu­tion for the Kenyan mil­i­tary’s de­ploy­ment in So­ma­lia. Many me­dia out­lets also sus­pected the in­sur­gent group’s in­volve­ment in the at­tack based on ear­lier reprisal warn­ings it had is­sued in the wake of Op­er­a­tion Lin­dia Nchi from 2011 to 2012.

The In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness Times stated that Kenya and Is­rael had a se­cret se­cu­rity pact. Is­raeli mil­i­tary ad­vis­ers were re­ported to have par­tic­i­pated in the counter-of­fen­sive against the hostage tak­ers and to have joined in the fight­ing al­though the Is­raeli For­eign Min­istry re­fused to con­firm or deny the pres­ence of its forces.

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