Westgate deaths hits 62,two gunmen killed
The government has said 62 people have so far died from the Westgate Mall siege that has entered its third day.Two terrorists are amont those killed by the Kenyan forces.
The government said the smoke that had created anxiety at Westgate was the gunmen who had burned mattress at Nakumatt store.
In a Statement released to news rooms Cabinet Secretary for Interior Joseph Ole Lenku disputed the figures released by Kenya Red Cross Society which has been in the forefront of saving and removing victims from the scene of the attack.
“The death toll remains 62 and 175 injured. Some NGOs have given a higher death toll, which we believe to be incorrect owing to the possibility of double-counting,” Lenku said in an earlier statement.
Some of the victims have already been released to family for burial.
The government has warned Kenyans against contributing money for Westgate victims through suspect MPesa accounts.
“We would like to warn Kenyans against conmen. All Kenyans and other well-wishers are advised against sending monetary donations in respect of Westgate Mall to various MPesa accounts popping up everywhere. Please send money using only accounts published and verified by Government,” said Lenku.
No updates has been given as to the number of hostages still being held hostage by the 10-15 gunmen linked to Al Shabaab militia. Today journalist covering the siege had to scamper for safety after reports reached them that grenades were being thrown by the militias.
Read the release
UPDATE ON WESTGATE MALL SIEGE BY JOSEPH OLE LENKU, CABINET SECRETARY FOR INTERIOR AND COORDINATION OF NATIONAL GOVERNMENT Our gallant multi-agency security forces continued their operations overnight.
They have rescued a few more civilians held inside the mall, but a few still remain. We are unable to give precise figures at this stage. But we can confirm that our disciplined forces are up to the task and have been extremely careful to find the balance between neutralising the attackers and getting as many people to safety as possible.
The death toll remains 59 and 175 injured. Some NGOs have given a higher death toll, which we believe to be incorrect owing to the possibility of double-counting. Some of the dead have already been released to their families for burial.
We will in due course provide the number of foreigners killed in the attack. We would like to bring to the attention of Kenyans the following important information:
• First, we would like to warn Kenyans against providing false information to security agents on either people they believe are trapped in the mall or any other information as it takes away from the core task of bringing this siege to an end.
• Secondly, we would like to warn Kenyans against conmen. All Kenyans and other well-wishers are advised against sending monetary donations in respect of Westgate Mall to various MPesa accounts popping up everywhere. Please send money using only accounts published and verified by Government.
• Thirdly, we wish to assure Kenyans that security at all entry and departure points – including airports and the seaport — in the country has been significantly raised. • Fourth and lastly, we urge all Kenyans and people of goodwill to remain calm and vigilant. We thank all Kenyans for their support during this difficult time.
Thank you. Nairobi 23 September 2013 11:30 am