Kenyan hostages released, three gunmen killed
A Somalia-based militant group, al Shabaab, claims to be behind the attack that shot and killed dozens of men, women and children at a shopping mall in Kenya. NBC’s Ron Allen reports.
索马里激进组织青年党称对肯尼亚购物中心袭击事件负责。这次袭击事件导致数十名男子，妇女和儿童死亡 。NBC的Ron Allen报道 。
Good evening. It's been hard to know what exactly has been happening inside an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya. We do know that a terrorist attack has been unfolding for three days now, unspeakable systematic killing. And while the Kenya government tonight claims its forces are now finally in control of the mall and combing it floor by floor for remaining gunmen, the death toll tonight stands at 62 officially with more than 175 injured with all the hostages believed to now be re-elireleased. It raises big questions about a terrorist group that's new to most people and questions about public safety at the same time. We begin our coverage with NBC's Ron Allen in Nairobi. Ron, good evening.
reporter: Good evening Brian. The government here says they believe all the hostages have been released but it doesn't give a full accounting. For the past couple of days we have been told there are perhaps about ten hostages remaining earlier today and perhaps ten to fifty armed gunmen holding them. We don't know the gunmen either. It's been a day of violence here. A day of loud, powerful explosions and sustained military attack. Early this morning a huge black smoke pours from the shopping mall, the start of another day of violence. Soldiers surrounding the mall opened fire from multiple positions. Firefights so intense that journalists and on-lookers hundreds of yards away ducked for cover. Today, Kenya's leaders claim the situation is under control. But an audio message from the militants threatened more bloodshed saying we have given orders to our fighters that they are free to kill the hostages. Claiming to be behind the attack, Al Shabaab, a Somalia-based military group linked to Al Qaeda. It is at war with somalia's government which is backed by kenya. the onslaughter began Saturday just after noon. The up scale Westgate mall, crowded with families enjoying an afternoon out. These pictures show the first moments of terror. Heavily armed masked gunmen killed dozens of men, women and children.
Bullets were running over my head but god protected me .
reporter: This picture purports to show two of the gunmen. Among the dead an 8-months pregnant woman. Balita who moved here from North Carolina said she hid for four hours before escaping.
You could hear -- we were back there. They were going store to store, talking to people. Asking questions, shooting, screams and then it would stop for a while. They would go to another store.
reporter: Others hit wherever they could, even in the air ducts. The gunmen reportedly singled out nonmuslims by testing their knowledge of the Koran.
If they didn't know the words they were the ones who got shot. So in that five hours we tried to memorize words of the Koran.
reporter: Government of officials said during the course of the ordeal they have been able to confirm that three of the gunmen were killed. But again, we don't know exactly how many there were to begin with. Everyone here is most concerned about the fate of the hostages, again still completely unaccounted for in terms of what happened to them. The bottom line, the government seems to convince the situation here is now over. Brian?
What an unbelievable scene there. Ron Allen live for us tonight in Nairobi. Ron thanks.