Terrorist group al-Shabaab strikes Kenyan mall

Update Sept. 24, 4 PM:

According to Kenyan officials, the conflict has officially been put to an end.  President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a national address that the terrorists had been “ashamed and defeated” and that Kenya remained “bloodied but unbowed.”  He also said the five terrorists had been killed in the fighting and that 11 suspects are currently in custody.  A total of 61 civilians and six security officers were killed, and around 175 were injured.  According to CNN, however, “The death toll may yet rise. The Red Cross said 65 people remain unaccounted for, and Kenyatta said three floors of the mall had collapsed, trapping some bodies.”  Continue to pray for the families of the victims and the Kenyan government as they move forward from this attack.

Update Sept. 24, 12 PM:

It is the fourth day of the hostage crisis in Nairobi, Kenya, and hostages are still reportedly inside the mall. The terrorist group responsible, al-Shabaab, announced on its Twitter feed: “There are countless number of dead bodies still scattered inside the mall, and the mujahideen are still holding their ground.” The Somali militants also claimed that there will be peace if Kenya removes its forces from Somalia, a demand the Kenyan government has rejected. Three of the gunmen have been killed and 10 more have been arrested, but the conflict continues.

Original Post Sept. 23, 6 PM:

Night has fallen on the third day since terrorists laid siege to a four-story mall in Nairobi, Kenya.  As of now, there has yet to be a complete resolution to the standoff between Kenyan forces and the terrorists.  While three of the terrorists have so far been killed and more than 10 arrested on suspicion of being involved in the attack, Kenyan security forces suspect several gunmen still remain inside the mall.

Around midday Saturday, members of an Islamic terrorist group by the name of al-Shabaab stormed Westgate Shopping Mall, killing what is now a total of 62 people and wounding more than 175.  The group, which has links to al-Qaeda, is reported to have singled out non-Muslims by asking questions about the Koran.  All who answered correctly were allowed to leave peacefully.  Among the terrorists were three Americans, two Somalis, and one each from Canada, Finland, Kenya and the United Kingdom.

This afternoon, a Kenyan government official made a statement that security forces had taken full control of the building.  An hour later, however, heavy gunfire erupted once again.  While no one is certain if any hostages are still inside, an estimated 65 people are still missing after the attack.

A sweep of the complex is expected to continue Tuesday.