President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya released an update today on the Westgate Mall Terror attack that claimed 59 lives and injured over 175 people, including the wife of a U.S. diplomat working for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Kenyatta vowed that those responsible for the attack will “not get away with their despicable, beastly acts.” Kenyatta said in his statement, “Like the cowardly perpetrators now cornered in the building we will punish the masterminds swiftly and painfully.”
Terrorists marched into an open area of the luxurious Nairobi mall and opened fire on shoppers Saturday. The Islamist group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the mass killing and tweeted that all Muslims had been escorted out of the mall before the attack. There are an estimated 10 to 15 gunmen involved as the stakeout continues through its second day.
Kenyatta said that some members of the terrorist group may also be women, though this report has not yet been confirmed. Kenyan police officers and soldiers cornered all of the terrorists in to one part of the mall.
Kenyatta expressed his sympathy for those families who lost their loved ones. “I mourn very deeply with them,” he said. “No family should have to receive news that their loved one has been killed by a criminal bunch of cowards.” Kenyatta continued to say that the tragedy was personal for him as his nephew and his fiancée were among those killed.
Officers and soldiers rescued over 1,000 people from the mall and continue to evacuate people. Kenyatta praised Kenya’s citizens for responding to the tragedy and donating blood, money, food and blankets to victims of the shooting. “We have ashamed and defeated our attackers,” he said. “Let us continue to wage a relentless moral war as our forces continue the physical battle.” CNN reports that there are still 30 hostage inside the mall.