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Dublin: 13 °C Sunday 21 December, 2014

Shoppers killed in gun attack at upmarket Kenyan shopping mall

Gunmen in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi lobbed grenades and opened fire on shoppers at an upscale mall.

THIS POST CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES BELOW THE BREAK. IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO SEE THEM, DO NOT READ BEYOND THAT POINT

THE KENYAN RED CROSS is reporting that 30 people are dead after gunmen opened fire at an upscale mall in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

Al Shabaab, a Somalia-based terror group, have claimed responsibility for the attack.

Witnesses at the scene have told Associated Press that a number of gunmen threw grenades and opened fire at the city’s Westgate Mall.

Security guards used shopping carts to wheel out several wounded children and at least one man, say reports.

The volleys of gunfire moved outside the mall after police arrived nearly half an hour after the attacks began and engaged the gunmen.

A reader of TheJournal.ie is at the scene and provided pictures. They say that tension is high around the area.

Dozens of people are believed to still be inside the building and police have surrounded the mall.

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Rob Vandijk, who works at the Dutch embassy, told AP he was eating at a restaurant inside the mall when attackers lobbed hand grenades inside the building. He said gunfire then burst out and people screamed as they dropped to the ground.

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Nairobi police chief Benson Kibue said the gunmen had besieged the building, and officers engaged the attackers. He said the men were trying to rob a shop within the mall.

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Some of those running from the mall said the attack may have been a bank robbery gone bad.

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Cars were left abandoned outside the mall after the attack started around midday.

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The Westgate Mall is situated in Nairobi’s affluent Westlands area and is frequented by expatriates and rich Kenyans.

Associated Press provided reporting.

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