During last week’s mall shooting in Kenya, at least 68 people were reported dead by late Sunday, with several people still unaccounted for. Al Shabab (translated as “youth” in Arabic) the Somalian militant group responsible for the attack, are reported to still be held up in the upscale mall they terrorized. The Kenyan government is now pressing assault charges against the group.
Al Shabab staged this gruesome attack in response to the Kenyan’s military presence in Somalia, which drove them off of their own soil, causing unrest amongst many Somalians. The group was formed in the early 90s as the small, armed militia for Somalia’s Islamic Courts Union. It’s being reported that the group rose in power after driving a group of C.I.A.-financed Somali warlords from Mogadishu.
Security forces rescued over 1,000 people from the mall since the start of the attack on Saturday. The New York Times is reporting that The Shabab answered with Twitter messages of their own, including warning that “Kenyan forces who’ve just attempted a roof landing must know that they are jeopardizing the lives of all the hostages at #Westgate.”
According to Col. Cyrus Oguna, most areas of the mall are now under the control of the Kenya Defense Forces and many of the hostages have since been released. While there’s no guarantee, Col. Oguna claims that there can’t be more than 10 hostages under Al Shabab’s control. Our thoughts and prayers are going out to the people of Kenya.
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