US citizens, UK lady among Nairobi shopping mall attackers: Kenya’s FM

Eurasia News

NAIROBI: Two or three US citizens and one UK lady were among the perpetrators who kept the Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall siege since Saturday and during which more than 60 persons lost their lives, Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed said, Dispatch News Desk reported.

Meanwhile, Kenya’s Interior Ministry announced that security forces had taken full control of the shopping mall‚ killing three attackers and injuring some others.

The forces were combing the mall floor by floor looking for anyone left behind, the ministry said in a statement, adding that all hostages had been released.

The US nationals were 18 to 19 years old, of Somali or Arab origin and lived “in Minnesota and one other place” in the United States, Mohamed said in an interview with PBS Newshour.

The attacker from Britain was a woman who has “done this many times before,” Mohamed said.

On the other hand, the US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki rejected the claim that US nationals were involved in the attack, saying, the State Department had “no definitive evidence of the nationalities or the identities” of the assailants.

Meanwhile, White House spokesman Ben Rhodes did not rule out the likely involvement of US citizens in the assault, explaining, “US officials have seen reports coming out of al-Shabab that indicate information along those lines.”

“We do monitor very carefully and have for some time been concerned about efforts by al-Shabab to recruit Americans or US persons to come to Somalia,” Rhodes said.

The militants, the majority of whom are reportedly from Somalia, said the raid was in retaliation for the presence of Kenyan troops in Somalia.