Kenyan security forces have killed the militants who stormed an upscale Nairobi hotel compound, taking at least 14 lives and forcing hundreds of others to make terrifying escapes, the government said on Wednesday.

Kenyan armed forces rescue people after an attack on a hotel, in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. Extremists launched a deadly attack on a luxury hotel in Kenya’s capital Tuesday, sending people fleeing in panic as explosions and heavy gunfire reverberated through the complex. A police officer said he saw bodies, “but there was no time to count the dead.” (AP Photo/Brian Inganga)

More than 700 civilians were evacuated from the dusitD2 complex after a 20-hour siege that echoed a 2013 assault that killed 67 people in Nairobi’s Westgate shopping centre in the same neighbourhood.

Some hid under desks as bullets shattered plate glass doors. Others jumped from windows, or ran out under fire.

“The security operation at dusit complex is over, and all the terrorists eliminated,” President Uhuru Kenyatta told the nation, looking drained and grave.

“As of this moment, we can confirm that 14 innocent lives were lost through the hands of these murderous terrorists.”

Kenyatta did not specify how many assailants there were, but CCTV clips showed at least five dressed in black.

One is seen waiting outside the restaurant before blowing himself up in a cloud of debris just after 3 p.m. (1200 GMT). Four others then shoot assault rifles crossing the car park.

The attack was claimed by Somali group al Shabaab, an al Qaeda affiliate fighting an insurgency to topple the weak U.N.-backed government and impose strict Islamic law.

Air strikes against the group have stepped up under U.S. President Donald Trump, but Tuesday’s attack showed it retains ability to strike outside Somalia’s borders.

Neighouring Kenya, a hub for expatriates, became a frequent target for al Shabaab after sending troops into Somalia to try to create a buffer zone along the long, porous border.

Source: African Reuters

Read more:https://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKCN1PA1IE-OZATP

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