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Kenya Mourns Victims of 14 Riverside Attack

Kenya Mourns Victims of 14 Riverside Attack



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BY  SIMON MULI

Terror reigned at the 14 Riverside Nairobi when a group of armed assailants attacked the mixed-use business block on 15th January. The complex houses at least 44 tenants, including hospitality services providers, corporate offices of multinationals, government agencies and retail businesses among others.

As gunshots and explosions rented the air on that chilling afternoon, Somalia-based Al-Shabaab terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Specialised forces stepped up their rescue efforts and operations overnight and the following day, to flush out the criminals, according to the Inspector General of Police, Joseph Boinett and Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS), Fred Matiang’i. Both condemned the heinous attack.

On 16th January, President Uhuru Kenyatta, through a live televised address, declared the security operation over, adding that all the terrorists had been eliminated. He, however, did not say how many attackers were involved.

It was widely reported that there were six attackers.

“As of this moment, 14 innocent lives were lost through the hands of these murderers, with others injured. We are grieving as a country and my heart and that of every Kenyan goes out to the innocent men and women violated by senseless violence,” he said, while wishing the injured a quick recovery.

With the president sounding a stern warning to terrorist organisations, saying that Kenya was on course to strengthen its systems and make it inhospitable to terrorist groups and their networks, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) is now expected to swing into action and expedite investigations on the attack.

“We are a nation that never forgets those who hurt our children. We will seek out every person that was involved in funding, planning and execution of this heinous attack,” said President Kenyatta.

The Commander-in-Chief also commended the spirit of patriotism that prevailed, with civilians looking after one another.

“For every act of evil that led to injury yesterday, there were dozens of acts of compassion overflowing patriotism and individual courage,” he added. One of the notable rescue figures was Inayat Kassam, a civilian arms holder, who rescued casualties during the infamous Westgate Shopping Mall attack. Photos of him helping out in the rescue efforts were widely shared in the press and on social media.

With over 700 civilians evacuated and assurance by the president that the country was safe, by the time we were going to press on 16th January, it was still not clear whether all of those held up inside the complex were out of the harm’s way; 14 Riverside remained cordoned off.

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