Women ran for safety while carrying children as armed police hunted gunmen who went on a shooting spree in Nairobi’s Westgate shopping centre on Sept. 21.
Al-Shabab posted a statement on its official Twitter feed shortly after the attacks, saying the deaths were retribution for Kenya sending soldiers to Somalia. The group said the battlefield would now be in Kenya.
The U.S. State Department also said that Americans were allegedly hurt at the scene.
“We have reports of American citizens injured in the attack, and the U.S. Embassy is actively reaching out to provide assistance,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement.
A witness said the attackers said they were targeting non-Muslims at the area.
“The gunmen told Muslims to stand up and leave. They were safe, and non-Muslims would be targeted,” witness Elijah Kamau said.
Kenyan soldiers joined an operation to flush out the gunmen. The mall is frequented by expatriates and wealthy Kenyans in the city’s affluent Westlands neighborhood.
A woman who had been hiding during the gun battle ran for cover after armed police, seen behind, entered the Westgate Mall.
A mother and her children hid from gunmen.
A woman who had been held hostage reacted in shock after she was freed following a security operation.
A woman in shock after being held hostage was taken to safety.
A woman held a baby among other injured people. The attack sent scores fleeing into shops, a movie theater, and onto the streets in search of safety.
People with children ran for safety as armed police hunted the shooters. Sporadic gun shots could be heard hours after the assault started as soldiers surrounded the mall and police and soldiers combed the building, hunting down the attackers shop by shop. Some local television stations reported hostages had been taken, but there was no official confirmation.
A child ran to safety.
Police took cover outside of the mall.
Armed police searched the mall.
Emergency services carried a woman to an ambulance in the car park.
Witness Manish Turohit, who hid in a parking garage, said the gunmen carried AK-47s and wore vests with hand grenades on them.
In 2011, Somalian rebel group al-Shabab vowed to carry out a massive attack in Nairobi in retaliation for troops from Kenya being sent into Somalia to fight Islamic insurgents.
A customer cried as she was evacuated.
Soldiers and armed police hunted the alleged terrorists.
Security forces pushed an injured person in a shopping trolley past the body of a man.
Witnesses came out from hiding under a car next to bodies in a car park.
A journalist rescued a woman injured in a shoot-out between armed men and the police.
Terrified children waited by the body of a man after escaping from the Westgate shopping center.
A wounded man was escorted outside the Westgate Mall.
An injured man received assistance from a paramedic.
Injured people were helped by bypassers.
An injured woman was brought away from the scene.
A soldier carried a child to safety.
People scrambled for safety while police tried to find the shooters.