THREE days of national mourning in Kenya will end today, after
the terrorist attack on a shopping centre which caused the deaths
of at least 61 civilians and six soldiers. About 175 people were
The Islamist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the
attack by gunmen on the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi. The
group said that it was in retaliation for Kenyan army operations in
The President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, said in a television
interview on Tuesday night - in which he declared the four-day
siege to be over - that "Kenya has stared down evil and triumphed."
More bodies still needed to be pulled from under rubble left after
three floors of the building collapsed after a fire on Monday.
Four of the known victims are British. Citizens of France,
Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, Peru, India, Ghana, South
Africa, and China, are among the others.
Gunmen stormed the upmarket shopping centre in Nairobi on
Saturday. Eyewitness reports say that the attackers targeted
non-Muslims, giving some Muslims a chance to leave the Mall, which
was packed with about 1000 people at the time of the attack.
Hostages were held inside the building until Tuesday.
There were reports that a British woman and two or three US
citizens were among the attackers, leading to speculation that the
woman was Samantha Lewthwaite, widow of Germaine Lindsay, one of
the terrorists behind the July 2007 suicide- bomb attacks on the
London Underground. She was last traced to East Africa.
But, on its Twitter account, al-Shabab denied that she was
involved: "We have an adequate number of young men who are fully
committed and we do not employ our sisters in such military
Christian and Muslim leaders in Kenya held a joint press
conference, vowing that the "attempt to sow seeds of discord
between Muslims and Christians will fail miserably, and that we
shall remain united".
The secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims,
Adan Wachu, read a statement on behalf of the country's religious
leaders: "We, the religious leaders, are engaged in robust dialogue
to ensure that these relations are not just maintained but also
The Bishop of Nairobi, the Rt Revd Joel Waweru, urged Christians
not to seek revenge. He said: "We are so disheartened . . . but we
would want to call upon our Christian brothers and sisters to keep
peace and to maintain peace."
Archbishop of Kenya, Dr
Eliud Wabukala, to offer support and prayer.
"We, too, share in the
grief that this senseless attack has brought. For a very dear
churchwarden of my own diocese, Mr James Thomas, has been confirmed
among those whose lives were so brutally taken.
"We pray for the
fractured human family, in which such inhumane acts can be
The former Archbishop of
Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen, general secretary of the Global Fellowship
of Confessing Anglicans, which is due to hold its GAFCON II
conference in Nairobi next month, has flown out to the country
today to assess the security arrangements for the conference.
In a video posted to all
delegates, Dr Jensen said that he was "deeply concerned about
events in Nairobi".
The conference, he said,
"gives us an opportunity to stand alongside our Kenyan brothers and
sisters in this hour of our need".
Dr Jensen said that his "great desire is to see us all there" in
Nairobi, and he reminded delegates that security for the first
conference in Jerusalem in 2008 had also been extremely tight.