The chaos in a Nairobi, Kenya shopping mall continues today with gunfire, as the death toll jumped to 59. As many as 200 hostages remain inside the shopping mall with members of an Al-Qaeda-linked Somali militant group exchanging fire with authorities today. It is not known how many of these militants are inside the mall, estimates put the number at 10-15, according to Fox News live on Sept. 22.
This upscale shopping mall in Kenya was the site of a shooting massacre on Saturday where an unknown number of gunman opened fire on the people shopping and working at the mall. The mall was having a children’s event, so the mall had more children inside than usual, reports the Fox News website today.
People ran to get out of the mall or to take cover inside the mall when the barrage of bullets broke out. One woman, who hid under a car in the mall’s parking garage when the bullets started to fly, called her husband on her cell phone asking him to help her. She wanted him to get a hold of the soldiers to come in and get her. She was terrified to try to make a run for it on her own.
The Red Cross in Kenya said that 49 people are reported missing by their family members. There is no way of knowing if they are alive and sheltering in place inside the mall or if they are one of the casualties inside the mall that the authorities cannot get to yet.
Some of the folks hiding managed to escape, as every so often someone will run out of the mall after staying hidden for hours, terrorized by the sound of bullets and screams. The group that claimed responsibility for this, al-Shabab, which is an Al Qaeda-linked rebel group, specifically targeted non-Muslims to kill. The rebels said the attack was retribution for Kenyan forces' 2011 push into Somalia and threatened more attacks.
Fox News live reports that Americans were among the people in the shopping mall when the shooting started. There is no word on what countries that the 59 dead hail from, just that they are from “a dozen countries from across the globe.” Four Americans are among the injured from this Westgate Mall in Kenya. A report that two people from Canada were killed, is also making headlines Sunday.
Sunday morning there are reports of more gunfire from inside the mall. The militants are cornered, but not in custody today. The exchange of gunfire between the authorities and militants is what is believed to be the shooting heard inside the mall on Sunday morning. New reports of explosions heard inside the mall is coming from Fox News live today.
Witnesses report that the militants ordered Muslims to leave the area before they opened fire on Saturday. They also said that this militant gang shot victims who can't name the Prophet's mother.
Fox News reports that more than 1000 people have managed to escape the mall in the last 24 hours, many coming out this morning. The woman in the picture above escaped by crawling through the vent system inside the mall.