Kenya says gunmen are killed in hotel attack; 14 victims die

Survivors of the attack have shared the horrific tales of what went on inside the hotel complex when the gunmen stormed the building.

"Five terrorists were eliminated, and subsequent investigations by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations have yielded the arrest of two key suspects believed to have facilitated the attack, and they are in custody assisting police with the investigation", Boinett added.

Ali Salim Gichunge was rounded up after a raid at his house in the Ruaka suburb on Wednesday where he lived with his wife Violet Kemunto Omwoyo who is also being held by police.

Kenya's information minister says the government's quick reaction to a deadly extremist attack in Nairobi this week reflects improvements in its ability to respond to such brazen assaults on civilian targets.

The police source earlier said detectives had discovered a "huge hole dug in one of the rooms where guns were stored". We are now focused on offering all the support we can to them and to our staff.

Al Shabaab, a Somalia-based al Qaeda affiliate fighting to impose strict Islamic law, said it carried the assault on the upscale dusitD2 compound over U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

A report in The Standard newspaper said Omwoyo had written: "We are moving out of Nairobi this week" on her ad selling clothes and furniture.

Kenyan authorities are still sweeping the complex for explosives the attackers might have left behind.

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It comes as an American businessman who survived 9/11 was earlier named as the USA national killed in yesterday's horrific terror attack in Nairobi.

The Somalia-based terrorist group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Kenya Red Cross, which was involved in rescue operations during the attack, said at least 24 Kenyans were killed, whereas Kenyatta said in his official address that 14 had died and many others were wounded.

Several private citizens and foreign security forces took part in the rescue operation.

A mortuary official said there were also 11 Kenyan victims, a British victim, one with no papers as well as an unidentified torso of a male adult.

Security forces appeared to have avoided the mistakes made during the 2013 attack, when police and soldiers shot at each other, then soldiers looted the Westgate mall.

Still, the newspaper said, there were hard questions including: "How did the assailants manage to move their weaponry through the numerous roadblocks to their hideout and to the scene of crime undetected?" "Security teams were well-coordinated under the general service unit; there was a centralised chain of command ... clearly lessons have been learned".

While U.S. airstrikes have constrained al-Shabab's ability to operate by keeping its fighters on the run, it is still capable of carrying out spectacular acts of violence in retaliation for Kenya sending troops to Somalia to fight it.

  • Sonia Alvarado