By Sandra Birungi
The four-day seizure of the Kenya Westgate Mall claimed the lives of 68 while 175 are said to have been injured. More 50 people are said to be missing in the attacks that crippled Kenya and put East Africa on tenterhooks as the world watched in horror the extent of terrorism.
President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday, in a statement, while declaring the siege over, declared that beginning today, Wednesday, the country will mourn its dead. “We have ashamed and defeated our attackers. Kenya has stared down evil and triumphed,” President Kenyatta said.
He said that 11 suspects had been arrested although authorities previously announcing that seven had been taken into custody at the airport and three elsewhere. “These cowards will meet justice as will their accomplices and patrons, wherever they are,” an emotional Kenyatta declared, adding, “We confronted this evil without flinching, contained our deep grief and pain, and conquered it. As a nation, our head is bloodied, but unbowed.”
A statement by KDF spokesperson Cyrus Oguna said 11 KDF soldiers sustained injuries. “Regrettably, three of them succumbed to their injuries. We wish to affirm that such cowardly acts of terrorism will not dampen KDF resolve to ensure that peace and stability is regained in Somalia and in the region,” he said.
Government spokesperson Manoah Esipisu yesterday said: “One more terrorist of the Westgate siege has been gunned down, bringing the death toll of these terrorists to three.” Security sources said the militants were located and isolated in or around a casino located on one of the upper floors of the complex.