A suspected terrorist attack on a hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya, yesterday resulted in the deaths of 24 people, at least two of whom have been confirmed as foreign tourists.
Gunmen believed to belong to the militant group al-Shabab – which has claimed responsibility for the attack – entered the hotel in Nairobi’s Westlands district on Tuesday afternoon at 12:00 p.m GMT, opening fire on guests and staff; a number of cars were also blown up.
“I just started hearing gunshots,” a woman working in a nearby building told Reuters, “and then started seeing people running away raising their hands up and some were entering the bank to hide for their lives.”
A TV address by the Kenyan President put the death toll at 14, but the Kenyan Red Cross has said that 24 people died in the attack. The US State Department confirmed that one US citizen had been killed, while it is suspected that a British citizen was also among the dead.
The siege was thought to have ended on Tuesday, but at the time of writing gunfire and explosions are reportedly still being heard.
The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised against all but essential travel to areas within 60 km of the Kenya-Somali border, Garissa County, Lamu County, areas of Tana River County (north of the Tana river) and within 15 km of the coast from the Tana river down to the Galana river. It also advises that anybody caught up in an incident of this sort should put their mobile phone on silent and not advertise their location on social media. The British High Commission Nairobi will be closed for routine business for the remainder of today while personnel respond to the attack.