'All terrorists eliminated' after Nairobi hotel attack

'All terrorists eliminated' after Nairobi hotel attack
Kenya's president has announced the end of an operation to clear a Nairobi building complex of militants.
2 min read
16 January, 2019
Kenyan security forces have cleared the DusitD2 complex of suspected attackers [AFP]

Kenyan security forces have killed all of the gunmen whose assault on a luxury hotel and shopping complex in Nairobi killed 14 people, the country's president said on Wednesday.

"All the terrorists have been eliminated," President Uhuru Kenyatta said in announcing an end to the operation to secure the hotel complex in the Kenyan capital's Westlands district.

In a televised address, Kenyatta did not say how many attackers were involved. It is known that the attack involved at least four armed men who invaded the hotel and shops.

The president said more than 700 people were evacuated during the security operation and he urged Kenyans to "go back to work without fear," saying the East African country is safe for citizens and visitors.

Hours before the president spoke, sporadic gunfire could be heard from the scene after scores of people were rescued at daybreak during what police called a mopping-up exercise.

Al-Shabab - the Somalia-based extremist group that is allied to Al-Qaeda - claimed responsibility for the carnage at the DusitD2 hotel complex - in Nairobi's well-to-do Westlands neighbourhood with many foreign expatriates.

Al-Shabab carried out the 2013 attack at the nearby Westgate Mall in Nairobi that killed 67 people.

Like the attack at the Westgate Mall, this one appeared aimed at wealthy Kenyans and foreigners. It came a day after a magistrate ruled that three men must stand trial in connection with the Westgate Mall siege.

Al-Shabab has vowed retribution against Kenya for sending troops to Somalia to fight it since 2011.

Tuesday's violence came three years to the day after al-Shabab extremists attacked a Kenyan military base in Somalia, killing scores of people.

The group has killed hundreds of people in the East Afican country. In its deadliest attack in Kenya, 147 people were killed at the Garissa University in 2015, mostly students.

The latest carnage demonstrated al-Shabab's continued ability to carry out spectacular acts of bloodshed despite a dramatic increase in US airstrikes against it under President Donald Trump.