Published On: Tue, Jan 15th, 2019

Al Shabaab claims attack in Kenyan capital

Somali armed group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for an attack in an upscale neighbourhood in the Kenyan capital.

Two explosions and gunfire were heard at an upscale hotel and office complex in Kenya’s capital on Wednesday afternoon, said a woman working in a neighbouring building.

“We are under attack,” another person in an office inside a complex in the Dusit hotel told the Reuters news agency, then hung up. Local television showed smoke rising from the area.

The Nairobi police commander Philip Ndolo said they had cordoned off the area around Riverside Drive due to a suspected robbery.

Flames and plumes of black smoke billowed into the sky from the parking lot of the compound where several vehicles were on fire, with scores of people fleeing the compound, some of them lightly injured.

Somalia-based armed group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack that came a day after the trial began in deadly Westgate mall attack case that left 67 people dead.

“We are currently conducting an operation in Nairobi,” the group’s military operations spokesman told Al Jazeera.

Kenyan prosecutors say the four suspects committed a “terrorist act” under Kenya’s anti-terrorism laws and used false documents. The men deny all the charges.

The country faced a spate of attacks after it sent its army into Somalia in October 2011 to fight the al-Qaeda-linked group.

Tuesday attack comes exactly three years after the armed group overrun a Kenyan army base in Somalia killing dozens of soldiers.

On April 2, 2015, another al-Shabab attack killed 148 people at the university in Garissa, eastern Kenya.

 

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