Kenya marks 10th anniversary of deadly Westgate mall attack

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It’s been 10 years since a group of Somali al-Shabab militants attacked a major shopping mall in Nairobi Kenya, killing more than 60 people.

On Thursday Kenyans gathered to commemorate the deadly attack on 21st September, 2013, infamously known as the Westgate Mall attack.

Innocent lives were lost, and our sense of security was shattered. But today, as we gather to remember those who were taken from us too soon, we also gather to celebrate something much more powerful than the senseless of violence that befell us a decade ago. We gather to celebrate the resilience of our nation”. Jeremy Van Tongeren, Chairman, Kenya Security Industry Association said.

On that day, a four-man commanded team raided the upscale Westgate shopping mall in the Kenyan capital, throwing grenades and firing indiscriminately on shoppers and business owners, killing anyone on sight.

A four-day siege ensued during which Kenyan security forces launched a series of assaults to retake the mall and subdue the attackers. 67 people were killed, and more than 150 people injured.

“I hope that it won’t happen again. I’m still scared sometimes. I still have that flashback, like today I’m really remembering the people that passed away, but I’m also remembering that I have this chance to live and I’m grateful yes, and I pray.”

The attack was claimed by Al-Shabaab in retaliation for Kenya’s military intervention in southern Somalia in 2011.

Only two people have been convicted over the atrocity, receiving separately a 33 and an 18-year prison sentence.

Africanews/Hauwa M.