Kenyans Rally Online As Nairobi Hit By Violent Attack
Kenyans are focused on a terrorist attack in Nairobi's upscale Westlands area that recalls the deadly 2013 Westgate Mall Siege
"It's happening again." That was the sentiment on social media today as reports emerged that gunshots and explosions had been heard coming from the DusitD2 Hotel compound in Nairobi's upscale Westlands district. The attack began at 3pm local time and witnesses at the scene have described to Reuters images of carnage and destruction. The Somali insurgent group Al Shabab is reported to have, once again, taken responsibility for the attack.
"We are currently conducting an operation in Nairobi," the group's military operations spokesman, Abdiaziz Abu Mus'ab, told Al Jazeera. At the moment it's not clear from police or local media reports whether all people inside have been accounted for or if the attackers have left. The ongoing altercation has, for many in Kenya, brought back memories of 2013's Westgate Mall attacke where 67 people died in a siege also claimed by Somali insurgent group Al Shabab. So far there are few official details of the attack.
A hotline has been set up, according to The Nation, for those looking for relatives who may have been in the vicinity of the attack.
While security forces are asking the public for tips.
Twitter user Ron Ng'eno appears to have been trapped in the compound while sending messages asking for help and prayers.
Thousands of people have taken to social media to #PrayforNairobi and #PrayforKenya.
International celebrities have been tweeting their solidarity with Kenyans.
Many more have taken to speculating about motive and method.