Kenya’s president says the alleged terrorists who stormed an upscale hotel killing at least 14 people have all been shot dead as he declared the attack over.
Kenya’s president says security forces have killed all militants who stormed an upscale hotel complex in Nairobi in an attack that killed at least 14 people.
Uhuru Kenyatta said 14 civilians were confirmed dead and over 700 others had been safely evacuated on Wednesday.
The attack on the dusitD2 hotel began shortly after 3pm local time on Tuesday with an explosion in the parking lot and then a suicide bomb blast in the foyer, police said.
Somali militant Islamist group al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.
Mr Kenyatta did not specify how many assailants there were, but CCTV clips showed at least five dressed in black.
One was seen waiting outside a restaurant before blowing himself up in a cloud of debris.
Four others were seen to shoot assault rifles crossing the car park.
At least two groups of people had still been trapped inside as dawn broke, and gunfire continued to ring out around the complex in Riverside Drive.
An earlier estimate put the death toll at 15 — Eleven Kenyans, an American and a Briton were among the casualties, morgue staff said. One victim had not been identified.
No Australians are believed to have been injured in the attack, but consular officials are making urgent inquiries with local authorities to determine whether any Australians were affected.
“At this time, we are not aware of any Australians being affected,” a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs told AAP.
The first to be identified was American Jason Spindler, a businessman, who managed to survive the 9/11 attacks.
“It’s with a heavy heart that I announce that my brother, Jason Spindler, passed away this morning during a terror attack in Nairobi,” brother Jonathan wrote on Facebook. “Jason was a survivor of 9/11 and a fighter. I am sure he gave them hell.”
It is understood all staff at the Australian High Commission, which is situated across the road from the compound, are safe.
Blasts and shots had punctuated the night, undercutting assurances from the interior minister late on Tuesday that the scene had been secured and complicating the rescue of scores trapped inside.
Some of those trapped got messages out begging for medical help.
LG Electronics marketing executive Hiram Macharia heard the first blast around 3pm local time on Tuesday.
“I grabbed a fire extinguisher and we started going downstairs. Then we saw two of the attackers firing at the elevators and we turned back. We hid under desks in our office,” he told Reuters outside the hotel.
“They were firing twice at each of the elevator doors and the two staircase doors on each floor as they walked up the building.
“One of them fired at our office doors, entered slightly and then moved on.”
Mr Macharia hid in his office, but one colleague ran to the roof and was shot dead there, he added.
Families who went to the Chiromo morgue seeking loved ones were told they could not view the bodies until a forensic investigation had been performed, provoking grief and anger.
Kenya has seen a number of terror attacks in recent years — most notably in areas close to the Somali border and in the country’s capital.
Al Shabaab killed 67 people at the Westgate shopping centre in 2013 and nearly 150 students at Garissa university in 2015.