UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – The United States is monitoring the bloody siege in a Kenyan shopping mall and will stand with the country’s people in the days ahead, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday.
“Ruthless and valueless terrorists remain a serious challenge everywhere in the world as we all know, whether it’s in downtown Manhattan or in a mall in Nairobi, or anywhere else in the world,” Kerry said in remarks to a conference at the United Nations. “And all of us have a responsibility to remain vigilant. We stand with the Kenyan people…. they are resilient people and they will need the world’s support in the coming difficult days.”
Red Cross officials said some 62 people have been killed in the ongoing seige which erupted when Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militants attacked an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi around midday on Saturday.
Five Americans are known to be among around 200 people who have also been wounded in attack, as Kenyan security forces were Monday locked in a fierce, final battle with the gunmen still inside the sprawling site.
“The bottom line is that this tragedy is a terrible reminder to all of us that we share a stake in one another,” Kerry told the UN conference on combating disabilities, being held on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly, which opens on Tuesday.
“What happens in one country, we are reminded day to day, matters to many others, to all of us,” Kerry added.
U.S. officials have said they are also investigating reports that some Americans were among the attackers, but those reports by CNN have not been verified.