This is Indeed Painful and Uncalled For According to Daily Mail uk ;
British nationals were last night ‘undoubtedly’ caught in the terrorist atrocity in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, which has left at least 39 people dead and more than 150 injured at a shopping centre, said Foreign Secretary William Hague.
It has now been claimed the terrorist organisation responsible for the horror was Tweeting updates while it carried out its attack on the Westlands Shopping Centre earlier today.
Mr Hague said a British rapid deployment consular team was on its way to Kenya and the Government will chair an emergency Cobra committee meeting.
But he could not confirm if any British nationals were killed or injured. The Foreign Office confirmed that British consular staff were already at the scene and were visiting hospitals where the dead and injured were taken.
France's president said that two French women were killed. Two Canadians were killed, including a diplomat, said the Candadian prime minister. Four American citizens were reported injured but not killed in the attack, the State Department said Saturday.
Around 68 casualties were taken to the Aga Khan hospital in Nairobi, said a worker at the hospital. Bancy Wanjiru added that among them were six white foreigners whom she believed were British nationals.
The terrorists stormed the Westgate Mall and sprayed shoppers with bullets. Witnesses said the attackers told all Muslims to leave as they were only after non-Muslims.
Those shoppers who tried to leave were asked by the terrorists to name the Prophet Mohammed’s mother. If they failed to give her correct name of Amina they were shot dead, said one eye witness.
After Muslim shoppers had left the mall, the terrorists reportedly threw grenades and fired AK-47s.
Last night, the Somali terrorist group Al Shabab, which is linked to Al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attacks, and said the atrocity was revenge for the presence of Kenyan troops in Somalia.
According to the website Slate, the terrorists had been Tweeting progress while it carried out its attack.
Al Shabab said on Twitter: ‘The message we are sending to the Kenyan govt & Public is and has always been just one: remove all your forces from our country.’
The shootings came as British-born Jermaine Grant was due to go on trial in Mombasa. He is accused of plotting a bombing campaign against tourist hotels in Kenya with several accomplices, one of whom is Briton Samantha Lewthwaite, widow of the 7/7 bomber Germaine Lindsay.
The terrorists were yesterday holed up in the shopping complex with as many as 30 hostages, many of whom are thought to be Westerners.
A number of the gunmen’s victims are thought to be children. As the atrocity unfolded, at least two dozen people were wheeled out of the complex on stretchers and in shopping trolleys.
Desperate shoppers could be seen running away as security forces surrounded the building and made an arrest.
Charles Karani, 41, an IT engineer, said: ‘I hid under a car with my daughters, and I saw the men line up maybe 40 people and ask them who was Muslim, and if they were to prove it by saying the name of the Prophet’s mother. Those who got it wrong were shot.
‘There was blood everywhere. Two ladies under the car with me had gunshot wounds on their legs.
‘Another Indian gentlemen was hit in the face by a bullet but he seemed not to be gravely hurt. Other people for sure are dead. I saw four people lying, not moving.
'A grenade was thrown and it rolled near us, my daughter said, “Papa, there’s a grenade” – but thank God it didn’t go off and I kicked it away.’
The gunmen wore white bandanas, Mr Karani said, and appeared to work in teams, each taking control of a different floor of the five-storey building.
He also said officials had confirmed to him that the attacker they arrested was a Kenyan Muslim convert.
Last night Prime Minister David Cameron spoke to Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta to pass on his condolences and pledge that Britain was ready to provide assistance.
Mr Kenyatta said in a televised address that security forces were in the process of 'neutralising the attackers and securing the mall' but he said it was a 'delicate' operation.
He urged Kenyans to 'remain calm and vigilant' and asked them to donate blood to help treat the injured.
And he vowed: "We shall hunt down the perpetrators wherever they run to. We shall get to them and we shall punish them for this heinous crime."
Police helicopters circled overhead as armed police shouted ‘get out, get out!’ and scores of shoppers fled the building.
Smoke poured out of one entrance and witnesses said they heard grenade blasts.
It is believed that the UN – which has one of the biggest operations in Africa in Nairobi – warned last month that the threat of an ‘attempted large-scale [terror] attack’ in the country was ‘elevated’.
Witness Patick Kuria said: ‘We started by hearing gunshots downstairs and outside. Later we heard them come inside. We took cover. Then we saw two gunmen wearing black turbans. I saw them shoot.’
Hannah Chisholm, a Briton visiting Nairobi, said she and 60 others barricaded themselves into a large storeroom. She told the BBC: ‘We kept running to different places but the shots were getting louder so we barricaded ourselves into a large storeroom. There were children hiding with us, as well as someone who had been shot.’
Mr Hague said in a televised speech last night: ‘Our thoughts are with the people of Kenya and with innocent people who may be caught up in this.
‘This is clearly a complex attack, clearly a terrorist attack and a particularly callous, cowardly and brutal attack targeting innocent people of all ages and so many different backgrounds.
‘There are undoubtedly British nationals caught up in this and so we should be ready for that and be aware of that.
‘Again, we don’t have any sufficiently precise details at the moment.
‘It is a fast-moving situation and it is still going on at the time we are speaking.’
Mr Hague would not confirm whether any casualties or hostages were British. However, Sir Simon Fraser, head of the diplomatic service, indicated that Britons were involved. He tweeted last night: ‘The Foreign Office and British High Commission working hard on Nairobi shooting and hostage crisis to help all involved esp Brits.’
The Westgate Mall is in the upmarket Westlands suburb of Nairobi and is popular with Westerners. Al Shabab had previously warned it would target the mall.
Another eyewitness who gave his name as Jay, said: ‘They were not speaking Swahili. They spoke something that seemed like Arabic or Somali, but I’m not sure as I don’t speak those languages.
‘I saw people being executed after being asked to say something.’ He claimed that he had seen 11 bodies inside the mall.
Ombati Cyrus, a local Kenyan journalist who was among the first at the scene, said that he saw around 30 bodies being dragged out of the shopping centre in trolleys and stretchers.
He added: ‘The majority of bodies I saw were white. I heard that the terrorists targeted whites deliberately. The terrorists were Arabs or Somalis.’