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WORLD
September 27, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- When four large explosions reverberated through Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall during a terrorist siege Monday, sending a pall of black smoke into the air, the official Kenyan response -- that the militants had set fire to mattresses -- strained credulity. Later, the same official, Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku, blamed the gunmen for the collapse of a section of the mall, which is believed to have buried some hostages and possibly some militants as well.
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NEWS
September 27, 2013 | By Nicholas Soi and Robyn Dixon
NAIROBI, Kenya - Amid reports that there were unheeded warnings of a terrorist attack on Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall, turf wars between police and army units and friendly fire fatalities, a Kenyan parliamentary committee has summoned security chiefs to explain what went wrong. The security officials are expected to appear at a committee hearing next week, according to news reports Friday. "The time for responsibility and accountability has come," the committee chairman, Ndung'u Gethenji, told reporters.
WORLD
September 27, 2013 | By Nicholas Soi and Robyn Dixon
NAIROBI, Kenya -- Intelligence warnings of a terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall went unheeded; a turf war between police and army units delayed the response to the deadly attack; friendly fire fatalities added to tensions between different Kenyan forces. Amid Kenyan media reports on the chaotic response to the mall massacre, the parliamentary defense committee has summoned security chiefs to appear at a committee hearing next week to explain what went wrong. "The time for responsibility and accountability has come," the committee chairman, Ndung'u Gethenji, told Kenyan media.
WORLD
September 25, 2013 | Nicholas Soi and Robyn Dixon
President Uhuru Kenyatta declared an end to the Nairobi shopping mall siege after a final day of shooting and explosions Tuesday, but many key questions about the terrorist attack remained unanswered. In a somber speech to the nation, Kenya's leader spelled out the toll -- at least 72 people dead, including six soldiers and five of the attackers. But he offered no details on what happened in the final confrontation between security forces and attackers, in which repeated explosions toppled several floors of the mall and sent a thick plume of smoke into the air. Nor did he explain what happened to hostages reportedly held by members of the Al Qaeda-linked Somali militant group the Shabab, which claimed responsibility for the attack.
WORLD
September 25, 2013 | By Nicholas Soi and Robyn Dixon
NAIROBI, Kenya -- Terrorists who carried out the attack on the Westgate shopping mall here claimed Wednesday that 137 hostages were buried in the rubble of collapsed sections of the building. Shabab also claimed via a Twitter account that Kenyan authorities had lobbed "chemical agents" into the mall, killing dozens of hostages, as the effort to retake the shopping center reached its climax. Government spokesman Manoah Esipisu rejected the claims. "Al Shabab is known for wild allegations, and there is absolutely no truth to what they're saying," he told the Associated Press.
WORLD
September 25, 2013 | By Nicholas Soi and Robyn Dixon
NAIROBI, Kenya - Forensic experts searched for clues amid the rubble at Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall Wednesday as many Kenyans demanded to know how 10 to 15 gunmen managed to hold off government security forces for more than three days. More than 70 people, including five gunmen, were killed in the siege. The death toll was expected to rise, as forensic experts from the United States, Britain, Israel, Canada and Germany helped Kenyan police search the mall. Kenya Red Cross officials said 71 people remained missing.
WORLD
September 24, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
The Islamic militant siege of a shopping mall in the Kenyan capital that has left scores dead demonstrates the grip of terrorism on Africa and the need for international action to defeat it, French President Francois Hollande told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. "Africa has fallen prey to terrorism and the barbaric attack in Nairobi confirms this," Hollande said, referring to the standoff between Kenyan troops and extremists of the Somali Shabab militia that began Saturday.
WORLD
September 23, 2013 | By Henry Chu
LONDON -- In a highly unusual decision, the International Criminal Court allowed Kenya's deputy president, who is accused of crimes against humanity, to leave his trial at The Hague on Monday to go home and help deal with the terror attack at a Nairobi shopping mall. William Ruto was excused for a week by the ICC after his attorneys filed an urgent motion asking for proceedings against him to be adjourned so that he could return to Kenya to help the government respond to “an ongoing and extremely serious matter of national security.” Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji granted the request, an apparently unprecedented decision in what is already an unprecedented trial, the first by the court of a sitting government leader.
WORLD
September 23, 2013 | By Nicholas Soi and Robyn Dixon
NAIROBI, Kenya - Authorities said they were going floor by floor through a darkened, smoldering mall early Tuesday as they searched for remnants of a team of attackers that had seized the building, and that they believed all those trapped or held hostage had been freed. But after conflicting statements from Kenyan officials about the status of operations, and on-and-off volleys of heavy gunfire and explosions, much remained unclear, including how many hostages there might have been and how close the nearly three-day drama really was to being over.
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