NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — An upscale complex in Kenya’s capital has been attacked with witnesses and police at the scene are referring to it as a terror attack.
The complex in Nairobi includes a large hotel known as DusitD2, banks and offices. Several vehicles are on fire and people are being rushed to hospital and away from the scene of attack.
Reports about the attack came in after gunfire was heard for several minutes and later black smoke was seen rising from the scene probably caused by the explosion set of by the attackers.
Police spokesman Charles Owino says that “we have sent officers to the scene, including from the anti-terrorism unit, but so far we have no more information.” Ambulances and security forces have rushed to the scene and reports coming in suggest that there has been one causality identified so far.
The attack immediately reminds many Kenyans of the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi in 2013, when al-Shabab extremists burst into the luxury shopping center, hurling grenades and starting a days-long siege that left 67 people dead.
According to reports, al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack. The Somali militant group al-Shabab told several Western media organizations that it was behind the attack, describing it as “ongoing.”
The Washington Post – Yvonne Nkirote, who works at the Red House communications firm, said she had stopped by the Amadiva nail salon when there was a massive explosion.
“I saw body parts and blood on the ground right outside,” she told The Washington Post as she was escorted out of the complex by police. There she was reunited with several work colleagues, and they burst into tears upon finding each other safe.
Everywhere outside the hotel were wounded people, and there were pools of blood on the ground.
The area is under lock down and surrounded by heavily armed police with ambulances ferrying wounded people out of the scene. We are not yet sure about the number of causalities.
Update: The Kenyan Police is now responding to gunshots reported at Dusit Hotel in Riverside, Nairobi. The attackers are suspected to be still in the area.