Siege at Nairobi mall over, Kenyan president says
Five Islamists shot dead in Nairobi and 11 held; three days of national mourning declared
US president Barack Obama, whose father was born in the east African nation, offered help, saying he believed Kenya - the scene of one of al Qaeda’s first major attacks, in 1998, and a neighbour of chaotic Somalia - would continue to be a regional pillar of stability.
Somalia’s prime minister appealed in Geneva on Tuesday for international support to combat al Shabaab but said a military solution to their insurgency alone was not enough. Abdi Farah Shirdon said: “We still have a difficult journey ahead of us. A military solution alone is not enough, promotion of rule of law, greater regional cooperation and economic stability and provision of public services are all key factors that complement the military effort.”
The attack on the mall is the worst such incident in Kenya since al Qaeda killed more than 200 people when it bombed the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi in 1998. When fighters from its Somali ideological counterpart stormed the mall on Saturday, they hit a high-profile symbol of Kenya’s economic power.
Kenya has sent troops to Somalia as part of an African Union force trying to stabilise the country, which was long without a functioning government, and push back al Shabaab. It has also suffered internal instability.
President Kenyatta, who lost a nephew in the weekend bloodbath, faces charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court for his alleged role in coordinating violence after disputed elections in 2007.
He denies the charges. British defence secretary Philip Hammond said he believed six Britons had died in the attack. Other known foreign victims are from China, Ghana, France, the Netherlands and Canada. Kenyan officials said the total death toll was at least 62.
Conflicting comments have fuelled speculation about the attackers’ identity. While the foreign minister said there was a woman attacker killed, Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku had said on Monday they were all men but some had dressed as women.