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Kenya attack: Al-Shabab hotel raid ‘much better handled’

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Kenyan bomb disposal experts searched on Thursday for leftover explosives at the site of the brazen attack on a Nairobi hotel complex that killed 21 people plus five al-Shabab fighters.

source: al jazeera

The al-Qaeda affiliate said it carried out the attack in the Kenyan capital in response to US President Donald Trump‘s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Two people accused of facilitating the attack have been arrested.

The Kenya Red Cross said on Thursday all people had now been accounted for after dozens were reported missing on Wednesday.

The 20-hour siege at the DusitD2 hotel complex echoed a 2013 assault that killed 67 people at the Westgate mall in the same district.

The Kenyan government said its quick reaction to the assault reflected improvements in its ability to respond to such audacious assaults on civilian targets.

It was “much better handled” in comparison to the attack on the nearby Westgate Mall, said Joseph Mucheru, the information minister. Police took hours to respond to that attack, leading to reforms.

“The speed, the response and the conclusion of this matter was swift,” the minister said.

Of the victims, 16 were Kenyan, one was British, one was American and three were of African descent but their nationalities were not yet identified, police said.

On Tuesday, authorities sent special forces into the hotel to flush out the gunmen. The president said more than 700 civilians were rescued from the complex during and after the siege.

Deadly hotel siege over, says Kenyan president (2:26)

Tormented night

It was a tormented night for families of those trapped as they waited outside the hotel with sporadic gunfire ringing out, and the rescue of dozens of people at about 3:30am (00:30GMT).

Mourning relatives and friends gathered at a nearby mortuary on Wednesday. Families who went to the Chiromo morgue were told they could not view bodies until a forensic investigation had been performed, provoking grief and anger.

“My sister is not in any of the hospitals and the last time we spoke, she was a bit calm. But suddenly she started crying and shouting and I could hear gunshots and her phone remained on but she wasn’t speaking,” said a woman who gave her name as Njoki.

“We have no doubt her body is here,” she said, weeping.

Coordinated attack

CCTV footage broadcast on local media showed four black-clad, heavily armed men entering the complex.

According to Kenya’s police chief Joseph Boinnet, the coordinated assault began at 3pm local time (12:00 GMT) on Tuesday with an explosion that targeted three vehicles outside a bank, and a suicide bombing in the hotel lobby that severely wounded a number of guests.

Hiram Macharia, a marketing executive at LG Electronics, said security officers rescued him and some colleagues from their office two hours after the attack began. But one colleague did not survive.

“One of our colleagues went to the top of the building and his body was found there,” he said.

A police source told AFP news agency two attackers were shot dead on Wednesday morning after a prolonged attack.

“The two have red bandanas tied around their forehead and bullets strapped around their chest with several magazines each,” the senior police officer said. “Each had an AK-47 which has been secured.”

People are rescued by a security person [Baz Ratner/Reuters]

The attack at DusitD2 was the first in Nairobi since the Westgate mall attack in 2013.

On April 2, 2015, another al-Shabab attack had killed 148 people at the university in Garissa in eastern Kenya.

The Westgate attack resulted in many upscale establishments and shopping centres in the capital – including the Dusit – putting up security barriers to check cars and pedestrians.

Like the attack at the Westgate mall, this one appeared aimed at wealthy Kenyans and foreigners.

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Breaking News : Oil tanker explodes in Lagos .

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A tanker explosion has occurred at Toyota bus-stop inwards Mile 2, along Oshodi-Apapa expressway.

The tanker was fully loaded with fuel at the time it exploded.

Oil tanker explodes in Lagos (photos/video)

Fire service arrived at the scene to put out the fire.

The Federal Fire Service giving an update on Twitter moments later, the Federal Fire Service said, “Update: The tanker fire situation at Toyota Bus stop, along Oshodi Apapa Expressway, Lagos State has been brought under control.”

 

Oil tanker explodes in Lagos (photos/video)

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Lagos state government shuts down all schools over #EndSARS protests

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The Lagos State Government has ordered the closure of public and private schools in the state indefinitely.
This was announced in a press statement by the state’s Head of Public Affairs, Ministry of Education, Kayode Abayomi, on Monday.
The statement was titled, ‘Lagos directs students to stay at home’.
It quoted the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, as saying that the schools were shut down over “tension generated by the #EndSARS protests.”
The statement read in part, “The Lagos State Government has directed all pupils/students in public and private schools to stay at home following the tension generated by the anti-SARS protests.
“A new date of resumption for all classes will be announced as soon as possible.”
Adefisayo added that “the safety of the pupils/students, parents and all staff working in schools is paramount at this critical period”.
She however advised parents to “keep an eye on their wards and not allow them to be used as willing tools in the hands of those who might want to hijack the protests to unleash mayhem on the society”.
The Commissioner also encouraged schools to “utilize other means of distance teaching and learning i.e radio, television and online media as they have been doing during and post the recent COVID-19 lockdown”.

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Siberian Husky Awaits Trial For Allegedly Murdering Neighbor Cat

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A Siberian Husky in Denver was accused of killing a neighbor’s cat and now sits in an animal shelter awaiting a trial.

Zuma, the 12-year-old dog who lives with Kevin and Valerie Kickham, reportedly wandered over to a neighbor’s yard in Central Park early August and took the life of a seven-year-old Tabby cat, according to FOX 31 News.

“It was only this one moment in time that I lost track of Zuma and something did occur,” Kevin confessed to the outlet with Valerie by his side.

Denver Animal Protection eventually picked Zuma up and has held him in their shelter since the alleged incident.

While Kevin and Valerie “feel bad” about the loss of the cat, they are very concerned for Zuma, whom they have sheltered since he was eight weeks old and call “son.”

“He’s very much our child,” stated Valerie.

“I remember him taking part of his first Thanksgiving turkey,” Kevin recalled fondly. “We fed him turkey in the bowl and next thing you know he actually jumped up and grabbed a piece of turkey for himself.”

A spokesperson for the Denver Animal Protection told the outlet that a judge may exonerate Zuma. If found guilty, however, Zuma could be put to sleep or relocated “somewhere outside the city.”

“It’s not a scenario that’s ideal,” explained Kevin.

While they await the trial date set for mid-November, the Kickhams are allowed weekly visits to the shelter.

“Both of our last visits he wasn’t excited,” Kevin told the news source. “It’s been very hard.”

With the life expectancy of a Siberian Husky ranging from 12 to 15 years, the couple are fearful they may not have much more time together with Zuma.

“We know that it’s not going to be much longer,” Kevin added. “We’ve cherished every moment with him.”

The outlet said they have reached out to the family of the feline victim, but there has been no response.

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