Gunfire And Explosions Rock Nairobi Hotel In Attack Claimed By Somali Militants
NAIROBI — Explosions and gunfire rocked an upscale hotel in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, on Tuesday in a terrorist attack that sent people fleeing into the streets and left body parts on the ground.
The Somali militant group al-Shabab told several Western media organizations that they were behind the attack, describing it as “ongoing.”
Smoke from burning cars rose in the air outside the DusitD2 hotel and office park on Riverside Drive in Nairobi’s Westlands neighborhood. The building was surrounded by heavily armed police and ambulances as wounded people were carried out on stretchers.
Police on the scene described it as a terrorist attack, and some said there might still be hostages in the building, which has been cordoned off.
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.
“I am in 14 Riverside drive hiding in a bathroom and we are under attack,” tweeted one man who described himself as being on the scene of the attack. “There was a massive bombs blast then gunshots, please.”
Kenyan police confirmed that an attack had occurred and advised motorists to use “alternative routes.”
Kenya has been repeatedly attacked by fighters from the militant al-Shabab movement based in neighboring Somalia, most dramatically in 2013 in an attack on the Westgate mall that killed 71 people.
Paul Schemm in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, contributed to this report.