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Kenya's 26/11 style terror siege ENDS

September 25, 2013 03:36 IST

Kenya's 26/11 style terror siege ENDS

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Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced that the four-day siege by Al-Shabab terrorists on a Nairobi shopping mall, which claimed 67 lives including that of three Indians, is over.

In a televised address to the nation, Kenyatta said five attackers were shot dead by the East African country's troops while 11 suspects were taken into custody.

"We have shamed and defeated our attackers but the losses are immense", he said adding that 61 civilians and six soldiers died during the attack while also declaring three days of national mourning beginning on Wednesday.

He said some parts of the Westgate mall building collapsed during the incident and several bodies were yet to be recovered from within.

Meanwhile, the number of Indians killed in the attack rose to three on Tuesday, with one more body identified as that of an Indian national.

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Image: Kenya Defence Forces soldiers give the thumbs up at the roof top of the Westgate shopping mall, on the fourth day since militants stormed into the mall, in Nairobi
Photographs: Noor Khamis/Reuters

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The third Indian has been identified as Sudharshan B Nagaraj from Bangalore, a spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi.

Nagaraj was involved in book trade and had only come to Nairobi on September 20, official sources said.

The Indian High Commission in Nairobi was in touch with his family to repatriate his mortal remains.

The mission has established dedicated phone lines for any assistance to the Indian Diaspora in Nairobi.

Earlier, two Indians, including an 8-year-old boy, were declared dead in the attack on the Westgate, an upmarket shopping mall in the Kenyan capital.

They were identified as 40-year-old Sridhar Natarajan, employee of a pharmaceutical firm, and Paramshu Jain, son of a manager of the local Bank of Baroda branch.

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Image: A Kenyan soldier gestures near Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi
Photographs: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

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Four Indians, including two women and a girl, were among nearly 200 people injured in the attack on the part Israeli-owned Westgate centre. At least 11 Kenyan troops were also wounded in the clashes, reports said.

The injured Indians are Natarajan's wife Manjula Sridhar, Paramshu Jain's mother Mukta Jain, 12-year-old Poorvi Jain and Natarajan Ramachandran, an employee of Flamingo Duty Free.

The attack which began on Saturday has seen more than 175 people injured while 62 are still in hospitals.

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Image: A Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) armoured military vehicle drives to the Westgate shopping centre
Photographs: Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

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"I promise that we shall have a full accountability for the mindless destruction, deaths, pain, loss and suffering we have all undergone as a national family," Kenyatta said calling the attackers cowards and promised to bring them and their sponsors to justice.

Al Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab militants laid siege on the mall on Saturday throwing grenades as they asked all Muslims to flee the scene.

The group's members in Somalia later claimed responsibility for the attack condemning Kenya for its military operations in Somalia.

The attack is the deadliest terrorist assault in Kenya since Al Qaeda bombed the US Embassy in Nairobi in 1998, leaving over 200 people dead. 


Image: Kenya Defence Forces soldiers are seen in windows as they comb the rooftop of the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi
Photographs: Noor Khamis/Reuters

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