Devastating details of what occurred inside the upscale mall in Nairobi, Kenya during last week's four-day-long hostage crisis have come to light.
Based on investigations and talks with survivors in the tragedy's aftermath, it appears that militants not only killed but also tortured, mutilated and dismembered many of their victims. According to some reports, members of the al-Shabab organization — who have taken responsibility for the storming of the mall — also burned the bodies of their foreign comrades to prevent easy identification.
More than 60 people are still unaccounted for, leaving friends and family fearing the worst. But finding and identifying any remaining bodies could be a long process, with many believed to be trapped beneath a collapsed section of the mall. Three stories of the mall collapsed shortly before the stand-off ended
A government official told the Associated Press that the collapse of the three floors was the work of the Kenyan military. The official confirmed that rocket-propelled grenades were launched at the mall in an effort to combat the militants, but it's not yet known whether or not the rocket assault led to the collapse.
An investigation of the incident is also underway, and speculation about members of the militant posse continues. On Thursday, Interpol issued an "red notice" for Samantha Lewthwaite, the British woman rumored to be connected with the attacks, who is also the widow of a suicide bomber responsible for the 2005 terror bombings in London. A "red notice" is not an arrest warrant, but flags to more than 190 countries that the subject is a wanted person.
As the nation tries to heal from its deadliest attack since its 1998 U.S. embassy bombing, they faced another obstacle when three people were killed by militants along the Somali border. The attacks occurred on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, leaving two police officers and one civilian dead. Police commander Rono Bunei, an official in Mandera where one of the attacks occurred said that the incident was still under investigation, “but obviously it leads to suggestions that either the al Shabab or their sympathizers are responsible.”
Al Shabab, an organization linked to al-Qaeda, has taken responsibility for the attack on Kenya's Westgate Mall and vowed to continue attacks until the Kenyan military removed its presence from Somalia.