Originally reported as a "robbery gone wrong," the armed attack on shoppers this morning in Nairobi's upscale Westgate Shopping Mall is now being claimed as a terrorist act by al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-linked militant group based in Somalia.
On September 21, gunmen entered the building, killing as many as 30 shoppers, and injuring approximately 60 more. Kenyan military special forces entered the mall shortly thereafter, engaging in a standoff with the attackers—a battle that's reportedly still in progress nine hours after it began. Conflicting news reports make it difficult to confirm whether or not civilian hostages remain inside.
The New York Times reports al-Shabaab tweeted a series of messages after the violence broke out, including this one:
The attacks are just retribution for the lives of innocent Muslims shelled by Kenyan jets in Lower Jubba and in refugee camps #Westgate
— HSM Press Office (@HSM_Press) September 21, 2013
Below are some of the most recent pictures of those who escaped the violence. We're not showing any graphic imagery; instead, these photos illustrate the experience of those who survived and the fortitude of those who helped save them.
Above: An armed security guard directs civilians to safety.
(Photos: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters and Siegfried Modola/Reuters)
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Original article from TakePart