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.