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Nairobi hotel attack: al-Shabaab claims responsibility for attack, Hospitals' appeal for blood donations

Devdiscourse News Desk nairobi Kenya
Updated: 15-01-2019 22:19 IST
Nairobi hotel attack: al-Shabaab claims responsibility for attack, Hospitals' appeal for blood donations

Image Credit: Kenya Citizen TV

An upscale hotel complex in Kenya's capital Nairobi is under attack, with a blast and heavy gunfire. Witnesses and police at the scene are calling it a terror attack.

The complex in Nairobi includes a large hotel known as DusitD2, banks and offices. Several vehicles are burning. People are being rushed and carried from the scene. Gunfire continues several minutes after the first reports. Black smoke rises from the scene.

Police spokesman Charles Owino says that "we have sent officers to the scene, including from the anti-terrorism unit, but so far we have no more information." Ambulances, security forces and firefighters have rushed to the scene, sirens wailing. A large group of women have been hurried out by security forces, one woman still in hair curlers.

Image Credit: Associated Press

Jihadist fundamentalist group based in East Africa, al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack in Nairobi. Four people have been admitted to the Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya's largest referral hospital.

What appears to be plainclothes security forces are seen inching their way toward the scene, guns in hand. Helicopters can be heard. Other people appear to be taking cover behind fountains and other features in the lush outdoor complex. The attack immediately reminds many Kenyans of the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi in 2013, when al-Shabaab extremists burst into the luxury shopping center, hurling grenades and starting a days-long siege that left 67 people dead.

"So far we have been informed that there was a shooting incident on Riverside around the Dusit hotel," Kenyan police spokesman Charles Owino commented. "We have sent in a number of teams from the anti-terror unit and CID to give support to what's going," he added.

Footage on local television showed smoke rising from the area.

Some Kenyan hospitals are appealing for blood donations as the number of people wounded in an attack on an upscale hotel complex in Nairobi remains unknown. Night has fallen and it is not immediately clear whether attackers are still active in the complex and how many people might be trapped or hiding inside.

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