Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 21 May 2019

Death toll from Nairobi attack rises to 21 and 50 unaccounted for

Al Shabaab said it carried out attack in retaliation for Trump declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, says monitoring group

The death toll from a bomb and gun attack by militants on an upmarket hotel complex in Nairobi has risen to 21, Kenya's police chief said on Wednesday.

"We wish to inform that, as of this evening... six other bodies were found at the scene and one police officer succumbed very suddenly to his injuries," Inspector General Joseph Boinnet told reporters.

He said the death included 16 Kenyans, one Briton, one American and three people of "African descent who are yet to be identified".

The Al Shabaab militant group said it carried out the deadly attack in retaliation for US President Donald Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the SITE monitoring organisation said.

The fundamentalist alliance said in a statement that its fighters stormed the DusitD2 complex on instructions by Al Qaeda leader Ayman Al Zawahiri.

"It is a response to the witless remarks of the US president, Donald Trump, and his declaration of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital of Israel."

The statement was entitled: "Al-Quds (Jerusalem) will never be judaized," according to SITE.

"Know that we will hold you to account for every Muslim blood spilt in Palestine; ounce for ounce," the group said.

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Another 28 people who were injured in the attack had been admitted to hospital without giving details on their condition, and more than 50 people remain unaccounted for.

Kenyan security forces ended the attack early Wednesday after a 20-hour operation that rescued hundreds of people and left all five assailants dead, Boinnet had announced earlier.

Updated: January 17, 2019 11:59 AM

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