Kenyan security forces have secured the buildings in Nairobi where gunmen mounted a deadly attack today, a government official said.
“The security teams have evacuated scores of Kenyans and other nationalities from the (hotel and office) buildings,” Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said in a statement. “We are now in the final stages of mopping up the area and securing evidence and documenting the consequences of these unfortunate events.”
Heavy gunfire and an explosion sent people running for their lives today at the compound in an affluent neighborhood. Footage from the scene showed armed officers escorting office workers and injured people to safety as the sound of shots rang out. Cars in the compound could be seen aflame as a helicopter flew overhead.
The coordinated attack began at a bank inside the complex, with an explosion targeting three vehicles in the parking lot, followed by a suicide blast in the hotel foyer, where guests sustained severe injuries, Joseph Boinnet, inspector general of Kenya’s national police service, told reporters.
The number of people hurt in the attack has not yet been confirmed, but local hospitals have issued urgent appeals for blood donations.
The Somali Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to SITE Intelligence Group.