Reuters is reporting that Kenya’s military said on Sunday it had freed most hostages at a shopping mall in Nairobi, where at least 68 people were killed in an attack claimed by Somalia’s Islamist militant group al Shabab. Kenyan Defense Forces have taken control of most of the building.
NBC News is reporting that the FBI is investigating whether as many as five Americans were among the small team of terrorists who took over the Kenyan mall. This idea that Americans were involved in the terrorist action was put forth by al-Shabab via the social networking site Twitter.
NBC News reporters Pete Williams, Richard Esposito and Simon Moya-Smith write:
“The account listed specific names and home states of the Americans they said were on their side. The group has had several Twitter handles shut down over the course of two days as they blast pro-jihad propaganda across the Internet.”
The militant Islamic group al-Shabab, based in neighboring Somalia, claimed responsibility for the attack via Twitter, saying it was in retaliation “for the lives of innocent Muslims” killed by Kenyan forces leading an African Union offensive against al-Shabab.
Among the victims killed in the attack was Ghanaian poet and diplomat Kofi Awoonor. Awoonor was in Nairobi to speak at the Storymoja Hay Festival, a four-day celebration of writing, thinking and storytelling. Along with Ghanaian poets Nii Parkes and Kwame Dawes, he was due to perform on Saturday evening as part of a showcase of award-winning poetry from both sides of Africa. Awoonor’s son was shot in the shoulder during the attack.
Read more about Awoonor at The Telegraph.