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Westgate Attackers Might Have Rented A Shop In The Mall For Months

The alleged terrorists may have been preparing for the attack right inside the Kenyan mall. WARNING: Graphic images.

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While preparing for the rampage at the Westgate Mall, assailants from al-Shabab allegedly rented a shop in the mall for three months, where they stored weapons and plotted their atttack, an interior ministry spokesman said.

But Interior Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku said the rumor was still unconfirmed. "As to whether they had a shop in the mall is something we cannot say categorically," Lenku said.

A U.S. official still said it's unclear whether Americans were involved in the attack, as investigators begin the long process of sifting through the rubble to look for clues.

CS Lenku: OperationWestgate. Moved to the next phase of forensic investigations.

InteriorCNG Ministry


CS Lenku: OperationWestgate. Moved to the next phase of forensic investigations.

/ Via

Three floors of the mall collapsed during the siege, but officials said they do not believe there are many bodies left in the debris. And while the country undergoes three days of mourning, stories emerge of some who were luckier than others.

Four-year-old Elliot Prior (above) is said to have saved his family after telling one jihadist, "You're a bad man, let us leave," his uncle told a U.K. paper.

One gunman allegedly gave the children Mars bars and pleaded with Elliot's injured mother, Amber, saying, “Please forgive me, we are not monsters." Amber was then able to escape with two more children, including a wounded boy whose mother was killed.

Rachel Zarrell is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Rachel Zarrell at

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