At least 20 killed in Nairobi shopping mall gun attack
Saturday, September 21, 2013 - 01:09
Sept. 21 - Sporadic gunfire continues inside a Kenya shopping mile as police search shop by shop for the gunmen who opened fire on shoppers, killing nine people. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: At least nine people were killed when gunmen burst into a shopping mall in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on Saturday and opened fire, witnesses said.
Scores of shoppers fled the building as armed police shouted for them to "get out, get out" and as police helicopters circled overhead.
Smoke poured out of one entrance and witnesses said they heard grenade blasts.
Others said they saw about five armed assailants storm the Westgate shopping mall and that the incident appeared to be an attack rather than an armed robbery.
The Somali militant group al Shabaab has previously threatened to strike the Westgate mall that is popular with the city's expatriate community. It would have been packed on a Saturday morning.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the incident.
One eyewitness who identified himself as Taha said he heard the screech of brakes followed moments later by an explosion and then sustained gun fire from the ground floor.
Sporadic gun shots could be heard almost two hours after the shooting started as police combed the building.
At least two dozen wounded were wheeled out on stretchers and shopping trolleys. Many of the victims had multiple light wounds, apparently from flying debris. Other walked out, some with bloodied clothing wrapped around wounds.
Asked if the attack was a robbery, one paramilitary officer said: "No, terrorist". There has, though, been no official statement from the police regarding the attackers' motive.
Police cordoned off the roads surrounding the mall in central Nairobi's Westlands neighbourhood.
There was no immediate reaction from Somalia's al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab group.
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