Death Toll Rises to 14 in Attack on Nairobi Hotel-Office Complex

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NAIROBI, Kenya — The death toll rose to 14 on Wednesday in a terrorist attack waged by Shabab militants, including a suicide bomber and several gunmen, who stormed a luxury hotel and office complex in Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta said.

Mr. Kenyatta said later in a speech to the nation that all of the attackers had been “eliminated” and that the operation was complete, after gunfire was heard from the complex earlier on Wednesday morning, a day after the authorities said that all of the buildings in the area targeted in the assault had been secured.

“We will seek every person involved in planning, funding and executing this heinous act,” Mr. Kenyatta said. He said the nation was on the highest alert “and shall remain so.”

Relatives of the victims were traveling to morgues and hospitals in search of more information, and the Red Cross said it had set up teams to help them find victims and deal with the aftermath. The State Department said that one of the victims was an American, but provided no details.

“We can now confirm that 14 innocent lives were lost in this murderous attack,” Mr. Kenyatta said. Seven hundred civilians were evacuated during the response to the terrorist attack, he added.

The attack on Tuesday began at about 3 p.m., when four men reportedly jumped out of a white car, opened fire at a security checkpoint, and blasted their way into the complex. The police and counterterrorism forces quickly responded, and gun battles were fought and cars burned as the police rushed people out of the complex.

Kenya’s interior cabinet secretary, Fred Matiang’i, speaking at the scene shortly after the operation came to a close, said, “The operation was executed very strictly and precisely.”

“We are moving now to Phase 2,” he added, “which is handling the criminals.”

The Shabab, which carried out a bloody attack at the Westgate mall in the Kenyan capital in 2013, is based in Somalia, where it has sought to impose its strict interpretation of Islam.

Dusit International, which runs the DusitD2 hotel in the Nairobi complex, said the hotel had been temporarily closed and that guests had been relocated elsewhere in the city, The Associated Press reported.

In his speech, Mr. Kenyatta sought to project an air of normalcy, encouraging everyone to go about their daily business. “We assure every citizen and foreigner that you are safe,” he said.

But he also made clear that the fight against the Shabab and other militant groups would be a long one, while expressing confidence. Kenya is a nation that never forgets those who hurt “its children,” he said. “We have prevailed against evil and shall continue to prevail,” he added.



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