By Bianca Facchinei firstname.lastname@example.org
Somalilandsun – A popular shopping mall in Nairobi was attacked by gunmen on Saturday, killing at least 10 people and injuring dozens more, the Washington Post reported.According to police, the violent gunfight and grenade throwing were the result of a robbery gone wrong. However, some residents believe it was a terrorist attack.
The scene at the Westgate Premier Shopping Mall was described as chaos, with people screaming and crying for help as they sought cover from the attackers. Ambulances gathered in the parking lot to provide assistance, but the gunmen were still inside the mall as of 3 p.m. Kenyan time (8 a.m. EDT).
“My wife and two kids are inside. They are locked inside a store, and gunmen are shooting around them,” said Christopher Wamalwa, a member of Kenya’s parliament. The worried husband and father said his wife was able to call him on her cell phone.
Nairobi police chief Benson Kibue claimed the attack was carried out by at least ten terrorists, possibly more.
Another resident said his wife was hiding in one of the mall’s banks.
“My wife told me there’s a large group of people armed to the teeth with grenades and AK-47s,” Matthew Den Dulk said.
One witness said a friend and his teenager daughter went to the mall for a birthday party.
“As they went to park their car, she saw five gunmen pop out. They shot her dad. He died,” Anna Marie Watrin said. The teenage girl was injured.
Officials have not released an official death toll yet.
The Christian Science Monitor reported that Kenya has seen a string of attacks in the past two years including grenades and other explosives, which security forces believed are carried out by Al Shebaab — a Somali-based group linked to Al Qaeda.
The attacks in Kenya are believed to be in response to a group of Kenyan soldiers who entered Somalia searching for Al Shebaab members who kidnapped aid workers form Kenya.