360° Coverage : 59 still missing in Nairobi attack (Roundup)

59 still missing in Nairobi attack (Roundup)

Nairobi, Sep 27 (IANS) At least 59 people continued to be missing Friday, six days after the terror attack on a mall in Kenyan capital Nairobi, even as Kenyan police held eight suspects for interrogation in connection with the incident.

Sep 27 2013, 11:36am CDT | by IANS

59 still missing in Nairobi attack (Roundup)
Photo Credit: , Getty Images

Nairobi, Sep 27 — At least 59 people continued to be missing Friday, six days after the terror attack on a mall in Kenyan capital Nairobi, even as Kenyan police held eight suspects for interrogation in connection with the incident.

The Kenya Red Cross Society said that 59 people are still listed as missing following the attack on the upscale Westgate shopping mall that started Saturday and ended four days later, Xinhua reported.

The humanitarian agency said tracing services were carried out in all morgues in Kenya where only 10 missing persons were found alive with families and two bodies were positively identified by their close families.

"There have been inquiries from various nationalities in search of their missing colleagues," KRCS said in a statement released Friday.

"We have been receiving calls from the Australian, Chinese, Norwegian and South African embassies inquiring whether we have any of their nationals as victims," it said.

Kenya's Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku told the media Friday that the death toll from the terror attack stood at 67, including 61 civilians and six security officers.

According to India's external affairs ministry, four Indian nationals were among those killed.

They are Jyotibala Dharmesh Vaya from Junagadh in Gujarat, Sridhar Natarajan, 40, an employee of a local pharmaceutical firm Harley's Limited who belonged to Tamil Nadu, Paramshu Jain, 8, son of Manoj Jain, the branch manager of Industrial Area Branch, Bank of Baroda (Kenya Limited), and Sudharshan B. Nagaraj of Bangalore, who was in the book trade and had arrived in Nairobi Sep 20 in transit to Kampala and Accra.

However, dozens of Kenyan-Indians have also lost their lives, as well as businesses. Third generation Indians are dominant residents in the area where the mall is located.

Somali group Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack in the media and said that it was in response to Nairobi's October 2011 military intervention against Al Shabaab in Somalia.

Ole Lenku Friday said the government is currently holding eight suspects for interrogation in connection with the Nairobi mall terror attack.

Three others have been interrogated and released, he said.

"This being a terrorism activity, we are operating under the Anti-Terrorism Act which allows for suspects to be held for longer periods before being arraigned in court," Lenku said during a media briefing on the terror attacks.

The cabinet secretary said that deployment of security forces during the siege was made in accordance with agencies' specialisation.

He added that five suspected terrorists were killed during the operation and the ongoing forensic investigations will ascertain their identities.

Lenku added that the Westgate mall remained a scene of crime and so access would remain limited.

"Investigators are systematically sifting through the rubble and they are reporting good progress," he said.

In another development, forensic experts investigating the terrorist attack have recovered a vehicle which they believe was used by the Al Qaeda-allied Al Shabaab militants during the attack.

A security official who is close to the investigations said the saloon car was found parked Thursday a few minutes away from the Westgate mall's main entrance.

"The police are looking for the owner of the car which was recovered Thursday," the security officer who sought anonymity told Xinhua on Friday.

"We found some devices and other paraphernalia which we believe were used by the terrorists to attack the mall," he said.


Source: IANS


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