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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

United Nations chief condemns al shabaab terrorism in Nairobi

UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday condemned the "terrorist attack" in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi that killed at least six people, his spokesman said in a statement.

Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman, said Guterres is following developments closely and extends his condolences to the families of the victims and wishes those injured a swift recovery.

The UN chief expresses his solidarity with the people and government of Kenya, Dujarric added.

Earlier Tuesday, al-Shabab fighters struck an upmarket hotel and office complex in Nairobi, killing at least six people and injuring several others.

The attackers were armed with rifles and grenades.

Huge explosions followed by gun shots rent the air as they stormed the complex.

UN General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces also condemned the attack, expressing solidarity with the victims and their families as well as with the government and the people of Kenya.

"There is no justification for using terror and violence against innocent people," she said through her spokeswoman Monica Grayley.
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UPDATES:

Kenyan president says terror attack over after 14 killed

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced Wednesday the end of a security operation following a terror attack on a hotel and office complex in the country’s capital, killing 14.

Kenyatta told a televised news conference that all the terrorists who have attacked the DusitD2 Hotel complex have been killed, ending the 18-hour-long terror attack.

The security teams have evacuated Kenyans and foreigners from the buildings during the operation.

"We are grieving as a country this morning and my heart and that of every Kenyan goes out to the innocent men and women violated by senseless violence," said Kenyatta.

The president vowed to enhance the fight against global terrorism, saying "terrorism will never defeat us."

A mortuary attendant, who declined to be named, said earlier in the day that 15 people were killed as security officers engaged the terrorists in a gunfight on one of the hotel floors.

He said most of those killed are Kenyans and two are foreigners, and the U.S. State Department has confirmed that one of the victims was an American citizen.

On Tuesday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the "terrorist attack."

UN General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces also condemned the attack.

"There is no justification for using terror and violence against innocent people," she said through her spokeswoman Monica Grayley.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on all nations to combat terrorism after hearing the news of the attack, saying he condemns terrorism in all forms and manifestations.

The attack began at 3:00 p.m.(1200 GMT) Tuesday, said security officers.

Joseph Boinnet, inspector general of National Police Service, said the terrorists began their onslaught by setting ablaze three vehicles at a bank parking lot before moving to the DusitD2 complex.

At the entrance of the hotel, the assailants carried out a suicide explosion, injuring several people, said Boinnet.

Witnesses said the gang arrived at the hotel entrance and alighted before one of them started to shoot aimlessly.

The gunshots alerted police guarding the Australian embassy, which is located close to the hotel.

The officers rushed there and engaged the gunmen in a gunfight, deflating the car that the terrorists had.

The officers managed to drive the terrorists to the hotel’s main entrance, where guards on duty escaped on foot from the shootout, said Shadrack Kirui, a witness.

It was at that point that one of the attackers lobbed a grenade at three cars parked at the main barrier, setting them on fire.

The terrorists then proceeded to the main hotel lobby where one of them detonated an explosive device he had on his body.

Somalia-based terrorist group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The group has been targeting Kenya-Somalia border areas and killing innocent citizens since Kenyan soldiers entered Somalia in 2011 to secure the two countries’ shared border.
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South African president condemns terrorist attack in Kenya

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday condemned Tuesday’s terrorist attack on Kenya which left at least 15 people dead and many others injured.

"South Africa condemns in the strongest possible terms the attacks on the government and the people of Kenya," the president said in a statement.

"South Africa extends its condolences to the bereaved and wishes those injured a speedy recovery," he said.

Initial reports said no South African was injured or killed in the attack. The South African High Commission in Nairobi is monitoring the situation and interacting with authorities.

The Somalia-based terrorist group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack.
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Uganda police on high alert after terror attacks in neighboring Kenya

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Ugandan police said late on Tuesday that it is on high alert after a terror attack on a hotel and office complex in neighboring Kenya.

Security has been enhanced and counter-terror measures have been put in place to secure the east African country, Polly Namaye, Uganda’s deputy police spokesperson, said in a statement.

"Our security personnel are on the alert.

"Crowded places such as churches, markets, hospitals, schools, shopping malls should in particular adhere to these security measures, and we have alert squads in place to ensure that this is done," Namaye said.

"We also encourage everyone to make use of the security contacts that we availed to them in case of any useful information," she said, urging the public to be vigilant, watch out for suspicious items or people, and report to the nearest police station or authority.

Somali militants Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Kenyan police and counter terrorist forces have been fighting to regain control of the hotel and office complex in the capital Nairobi.

"We sympathize with our Kenyan counterparts in this trying moment and pray that perpetrators of such acts are brought to book," said Ugandan police in a tweet, adding that the security forces have secured the country’s borders following the Nairobi attack.

Uganda forms the bulk of the African Union peacekeeping forces in Somalia.

Al-Shabaab has constantly warned Uganda that it would launch attacks in the country if it does not withdraw its peacekeeping troops from Somalia.

In 2010, the militant group launched twin bomb attacks in Kampala that killed about 80 people and injured several others.
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EARLIER REPORTS:

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemns Nairobi terrorist attack

UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday said that he condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

Abbas made the remarks when attending the handover ceremony of the chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China from Egypt to Palestine for the year 2019 at the UN headquarters in New York.

Abbas also called on all nations to combat terrorism after hearing the news at the ceremony that gunmen blasted their way into a hotel and office complex in the Kenyan capital on Tuesday.

"We express our condolences to the President of Kenya, and to the people of Kenya, and express our solidarity with Kenya. We strongly condemn the terrorist attack that happened today in Nairobi, which led to a number of casualties," he said.

The G77, which got its name from 77 founding members, is a group of 133 developing countries at the United Nations.

China aligns itself with the group, whose aim is to promote collective economic interests of the members and to try to have a bigger say in the world organization.
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Kenyans use social media to embolden victims of hotel attack

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyans on Tuesday took to social media to encourage and support victims of a terror attack that happened at a hotel and office complex in Nairobi’s upscale suburb of Westlands.

At least six people were killed and several others injured after al-Shabab terrorists struck an upmarket hotel and office complex in Nairobi on Tuesday, the police and witnesses said.

The victims of the attack, some who had locked themselves up in toilets and offices while others hid in rooms took to social media to share what was happening.

"I am hiding in the bathroom on the first floor of Grosvenor buildings.

"Terrorists are going room to room. Help," Ron Ngeno, a worker in one of the complexes, tweeted.

He added, "If I die, please tell my family I love them.

"I love you Caleb, Mark and Carol."

Several such messages on social media were widely circulated, with the one from Ngeno touching Kenyans the most.

"Shocking but keep the faith.

"You aren’t going nowhere.

"Caleb, Mark and Carol will still see you today evening," Peter Sergoi told Ngeno.

"We are really praying for you brother.

"Please stay safe.

"God will protect you.

"You will come out alive," Embakasi responded.

"You are not dying.

"We pray you and everyone else to be rescued.

"Don’t give up.

"A lot of effort to rescue you all is underway," Anna Lorna replied Ngeno.

Many citizens reassured the victims through social media under the hashtag #RiversideAttack, especially after top police unit recce squad arrived at the scene.

"To all caught up in this incident at Riverside.

"Help is on the way.

"The recce squad has arrived.

"Stay hidden, stay safe, put phone on silent, keep praying." said Kuisan Macharia.

And when news came that Ngeno and several other victims had been rescued, social media exploded in joy as Kenyans thanked the police and citizens who had spread the word about their predicament and positions.

On the streets, some Kenyans resorted to prayers as others wondered what Kenya had done to deserve another attack while memories of the previous ones are still fresh in their minds.

Police assured citizens that specialised officers had responded to the attack and asked the public to keep off the scene and motorists to avoid roads near it.

"Police wish to confirm that there has been an attack incident along 14 Riverside Drive.

"The area has since been cordoned off and motorists are advised to use alternative routes to facilitate smooth operations of the police.

"The National Police specialised units are on site at 14 Riverside Drive to engage the attackers," said the National Police Service in a statement.

Somali terror group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.

Al-shabab terrorists timed it with the third anniversary since they staged an onslaught at a camp for Kenyan soldiers located near southwestern Somalia town of El Adde, where scores of Kenyan soldiers were killed.

             

 

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