Westgate Masaai Market Nairobi
NAIROBI WESTGATE – MALL CARNAGE – Yesterday, Saturday 21st September, a vicious and wanton attack was carried out by Al Shabab, a Somali terrorist group, on a shopping centre in Nairobi, Kenya.
The terrorists targeted some of society’s most vulnerable people, children and mums doing their Saturday shopping and other children who were taking part in a cookery competition as part of Junior Masterchef.
59 people of various nationalities have lost their lives and over 175 are injured. At the time of writing, the siege is still on with Kenyan security forces trying to bring the carnage to an end.
DoinDubai has visited the Westgate centre on many occasions, it’s one of Nairobi smarter and more international type malls built over 3 stories with a large supermarket, a cinema complex and a popular restaurant, Art Café. It also hosts the long-established arts and crafts sale The Masaai Market on it’s open air top floor once a week. I wanted to take photographs of the mall for a post but was denied permission due to security reasons earlier in the year. There is some security at the centre, cars are checked with mirrors and boots are looked at.
But what hope would a couple of security guys have against a bunch of hardened terrorists in combat gear brandishing AK 47s? Not much.
Nairobi is a lovely place with a vibrant arts and culture scene
It is home to a huge international community who live with security issues but up to now have taken them in their stride, it certainly didn’t feel unsafe or restrict us from getting involved in everyday activities. I always felt completely safe in the Westgate Centre enjoying cappuccinos with fancy salads with friends and families in a New York style café.
I would never have believed an attack on this scale could have taken place.
23rd September 2013
9.13 am Dubai time
The death toll now stands at 68 people, the siege is on going.