A Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab, has claimed responsibility of the attack at the Upscale Hotel Complex. Residents of the area reportedly fled the area as explosions and heavy gunfire reverberated through the neighborhood. Al-Shabab — the Somalia-based extremist group that carried out the 2013 Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi that left 67 people dead, told Al Jazeera;
“We are currently conducting an operation in Nairobi.”
The complex in Nairobi which includes a large hotel known as DusitD2, banks and offices, was stormed by four men who opened fire around 3pm local time. Black smoke rose from the scene with a number of cars also on fire.
Four ambulances and a fire truck arrived at the scene as fleeing office workers told Reuters colleagues were still huddled under their desks.
Police spokesman Charles Owino says that “we have sent officers to the scene, including from the anti-terrorism unit, but so far we have no more information.”
Mr Owino told Citizen Television it may be a militant attack.
“We have to go for the highest incident that could take place. The highest incident we have is a terror (attack),” he said.
The hotel complex under attack is less than 2 kilometers from Westgate Mall and is in what is considered one of the most secure areas of the city. It lies on a relatively quiet, tree-lined road near a main avenue. Its website says it is “cocooned away from the hustle and bustle in a secure and peaceful haven.”
— The African Voice (@teddyeugene) January 15, 2019