The Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta, has released a statement saying that at least 39 people were killed and 150 injured in the attack on Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi by a Somali militant group with ties to al-Qaida. Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack via Twitter two hours ago.
Al-Shabab had threatened an attack on Nairobi in revenge of Kenyan presence in Somalia. Kenyan troops were serving as peacekeepers in Somalia. Seven hostages are said to be being held in a supermarket that five gunmen have barricaded themselves into.
In Scotland, there is said to have been at least 20,000 people at a pro-Independence rally in Edinburgh today. Scotland’s First Minister said that an independent Scotland would disarm nuclear weapons and keep Royal Mail public.
The Somali militant group al-Shabab claims that it is responsible for today’s Nairobi Westgate shopping mall attack. The group had threatened action against Kenya earlier in the year and is known to have links to al-Qaida. It confirmed its involvement via Twitter.
The Kenyan President says that at least one of the gunmen from the attack has been arrested. Kenya’s Red Cross are saying that at least 30 people are being reported dead and 60 injured. US state departments says that this includes some Americans.
It is now thought that up to 51 people were killed in the funeral bombing today and as many as 70 injured.
A suicide bomber has crashed into a funeral tent full of mourner in the Sadr area of Baghdad. The victims were Shia and police are saying that up to 30 people were killed and up to 50 injured. This attack comes only hours after 7 police officers were killed in Baiji.
More than 400 people have been killed so far since September began in the rising levels of violence in Iraq.
Todays violence comes as northern Kurdish Iraqis vote for greater autonomy in local elections for the Kurdistan Regional Government’s 111-seat legislature but there is no evidence as of yet that the events are connected.
There is confusion over what caused armed clashes in Nigeria’s capital of Abuja yesterday. The official story is that state armed forced moved in to investigate a tip about weapons cache for the Islamic militant group the Boko Haram.
Gunshots began around 3am local time and BBC’s Mohammed Kabir Mohammed in Abuja says the shooting took place at a two-storey building that was not finished construction that young men had been sleeping in at night.
However six witnesses told Reuters that the building was owned by a military man who wanted to move squatters off the property. If this was the Boko Haram than it is the first time they will have attack Abuja this year. Nigerian security forces are sometimes accused of executing suspects and then claiming afterwards that they were Boko Haram members.
State Security Services would not give any details of fatalities but a witness told BBC that he saw 9 bodies.
NAIROBI UPDATE: News agencies are now placing the dead up to 22 according to Red Cross.
Kenya Red Cross Society Secretary General Abbas Guled earlier stated that: “I would say so far we have at least 15 dead. The casualties are many, and that’s only what we have on the outside. Inside there are even more casualties and shooting is still going on”.
The number of assailants seems to have settled on five armed with AK-47s and grenades. Police are currently engaged in an ongoing shop-by-shop sweep of the complex. “They have seven hostages, confirmed,” an officer told AFP.
A number of gunmen have attacked with gunfire and grenades in an upscale shopping-mall in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. Witnesses report as many as 20 attackers. Elijah Kamau said “attackers with AK-47s and grenades” asked Muslims to leave as only non-Muslims would be targeted around noon local time.
AP reporters about 10 dead and dozens more wounded with matches with Reuters reporters of 9 bodies seen by a Reuters photographer and an ex-British soldier on the ground. Officials will not give a current casualty figure and police are currently combing the shopping centre.
6 Iraqi SWAT police officers were killed this morning in an attack by 4 suicide bombers who stormed police headquarters in Baiji, north of Baghdad. It is not currently clear who was behind this attack but the army and police have been targets for Sunni militants in the past who have been gaining more support against Iraq’s now Shia majority government.
Edinburgh saw a large turnout with flags to a pro-Independence parade with marching bands today.