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.
RED CROSS urges those looking for their relatives following attack at DusitD2 Hotel in Riverside, Nairobi to call t… https://t.co/ZGAzTDKxnY— NationBreakingNews (@NationBreakingNews)1547566985.0
While security forces are asking the public for tips.
DCI ASKS people receiving information on Dusit attack to share with detectives on 0722839978 and 0721141282.… https://t.co/TO4HTWkeEZ— NationBreakingNews (@NationBreakingNews)1547568697.0
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.
Another terrorist attack in Nairobi...this is sad to the innocent civilians that have been victims.#prayfornairobi— Brendah (@Brendah)1547564975.0
International celebrities have been tweeting their solidarity with Kenyans.
My heart is with our brothers and sisters affected at the 14Riverside Drive in Kenya where there has been a terrori… https://t.co/c9T4Du5Qho— BOBI WINE (@BOBI WINE)1547562473.0
Many more have taken to speculating about motive and method.
Alshabab gunmen in Kenya attack using same tactics as when group attack Mogadishu hotels - kill anything that moves… https://t.co/gbE4j6V0Xa— Mohammed Adow (@Mohammed Adow)1547565497.0
Urgent blood appeal made by Avenue Hospital in Parklands. Other hospitals likely to require blood as well. Please h… https://t.co/IUXFGSBZdj— Tw|tter Tweeting Tweep😭😭™🇰🇪 (@Tw|tter Tweeting Tweep😭😭™🇰🇪)1547571441.0
So brave cop. Acting as a shield to save a life. Such people makes me feel proud yo be Kenyan. @NPSOfficial_KE… https://t.co/fcjECrOqwi— Ahmed Noor (@Ahmed Noor)1547571444.0
We can't allow terrorists and peddlers of terrorism to thrive in our social & mainstream media platforms. These spo… https://t.co/IyrDR7Cf6J— gauo🇰🇪 (@gauo🇰🇪)1547571432.0