Friday, October 18, 2013

Kenya attack: Westgate mall bodies 'probably gunmen'

Two charred bodies pulled from Kenya's Westgate shopping centre on Thursday are "highly likely" to be two of the attackers, an MP has told the BBC.

 Ndung'u Gethenji, chairman of the parliamentary committee investigating the attack, also said another body recovered was likely to be soldier.

 The authorities will now conduct forensic tests on the bodies. At least 67 people died when suspected al-Shabab militants stormed the Nairobi shopping centre on 21 September.

 The attack sparked a four-day siege, in which large parts of the shopping centre were destroyed.

 The Kenyan authorities have released the names of four suspects in the attack, but have given few other details.

 It is still not clear whether some of the attackers might have escaped, or even how many attackers there were.

Officials initially said 10 to 15 gunmen were involved, but CCTV footage has shown only four militants.

The BBC's Will Ross in Nairobi says Kenyans still feel there are a lot of unanswered questions, and will be shocked if it turns out that just four gunmen caused such havoc.

The Somali militant group al-Shabab said its members carried out the attack in response to Kenya's army carrying out operations on Somali territory.

The BBC's Newsnight programme has revealed that one of the suspected attackers is a 23-year-old Somalia-born Norwegian national.

His family fled to Norway in the 1990s, but he returned to Somalia in 2009 and allegedly joined the Somali militant group.

Al-Shabab, which is believed to have between 7,000 and 9,000 fighters, controls large parts of Somalia.
The group, which is banned as a terrorist group by both the US and the UK, is fighting to create an Islamic state in Somalia.

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