10 armed men opened fire inside a large central mall in Nairobi. 22 people were killed and at least 50 were injured. The Israeli Foreign Ministry reported that 3 Israelis were successfully rescued from the site.

Nairobi today

Nairobi today Photo Credit: Reuters

3 Israeli citizens were successfully rescued today from a mall in Nairobi, where armed men opened fire and killed at least 22 people.  Around 50 other people were injured in the incident and were evacuated to a hospital in the area.  The police opened fire on the armed men that appeared entrenched there.  

 The Israeli Foreign Ministry reported that two of the Israelis were freed by local defense forces and one of them by his own power.  The three left the site of the incident without injuries and at this stage the Israeli Foreign Ministry is still investigating if there are additional Israelis that possibly were involved in the event. 

 It is said that at least 22 people were killed today in a terror attack in a central mall in the Kenyan capital city.  According to a report on the British television channel SKY News, supermarket and jewelry store workers in the mall were taken hostage.   Witnesses said that armed men called out for Muslims to leave the place.  10 armed men entered into the mall and said that every one who isn’t Muslim presently is a target for them and then opened fire.  Witnesses said that the shooters continued to fire even when police forces were summoned to the place.  Reports in Kenya indicate that the shooting happened near an Israeli-owned café.  At this stage, it is not known whether there were Israeli causalities in the shooting incident.   The Kenyan Red Cross reported that at the shopping mall complex there are still additional causalities that haven’t been evacuated because the exchange of fire still is continuing.  

 Kenyan Interior Minister Mutea Iringo said following the incident that it many have been a terror attack.  “There is the possibility that the action was implemented by terrorists,” said Iringo and added “therefore we treat the case in its entirety seriously.” 

 “The armed men fired at policemen that tried to get close to them,” said one of the residents.  A photographer for one of the news agencies said that he saw 10 bodies that were lying outside the central mall.  A couple of hours after the terror attack started, dozens of armed police officers spread out at the site and started to search for additional shootings in the area.  The local police said that additional shooting was heard.

Armed men fire at the police today

Armed men fire at the police today Photo Credit: AP

The Israel Foreign Ministry checks if there are Israeli causalities

 An employee ofthe Dutch Embassy, which is close to the mall, said that the shooting started around the time that he was eating at a restaurant inside the shopping mall complex.  He claimed that the gunmen threw a hand grenade inside the mall.   “People started to scream and prostrate themselves on the floor,” the employee described.

 The Israeli Foreign Ministry reported that the luxury mall in Nairobi is foreign-owned and many foreigners go there, including Israelis.  The Ministry assessed that this event was internal.  All of the members of the Israeli diplomatic corps are healthy and well.    Presently, the Ministry’s personnel are checking for additional Israelis that might have been involved.  It appears that the Israeli café was not the target of the armed men.