By Duncan Inyangala-Nairobi, Kenya .The death toll from a bomb and gun attack by Islamist militants on an upmarket hotel complex in Nairobi has risen to 21, Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet says.
“We wish to inform that, as of this evening… six other bodies were found at the scene and one police officer succumbed very suddenly to his injuries,” he told reporters.
Mr Boinett said 16 were Kenyans, one Briton, one American; the nationality of the remaining three is not yet known.
Further, he confirmed that two people had been arrested in relation to the attack.
“They are in police custody and we have a reason to believe that they facilitated the attack. They are assisting the police with investigations,” he said during a late night media briefing at his office.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday morning declared the terrorist attack at 14 Riverside Drive over, with all the terrorists having been killed.
About 700 people were rescued from the compound since the start of the attack on Tuesday through the early hours of Wednesday morning, the President said.
On Tuesday, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i had said the country is safe, urging Kenyans to continue with their activities.
“We remain an integral part of the international community that stands up to terror in all its guises,” he said.
CCTV footage has also emerged showing that there were four assailants who allegedly carried out the attack at Riverside, Nairobi.
The clip shows four men walking into the parking lot with guns that appear to be AK47 rifles.
The CCTV footage with a time stamp of 3:32pm reveals how the assailants gained access into 14 Riverside buildings.
Security officials also confirmed that they have identified the owner of the vehicle which exploded outside the building.
Earlier on, Interior CS Cabinet Fred Matiang’i, condemned the attack terming it a cowardly act by the ‘suspected terrorists’.
“I condemn in the strongest terms the cowardly and heinous acts we witnessed in Nairobi today,” he stated.
He gave a progress report on the rescue operations stating, “We have secured all the buildings affected in this event. We are now mopping up the area and securing evidence.”
Dr Matiang’i further assured that the country was safe as the situation was under control.
“The country is now secure. Kenyans should feel free to continue with their duties. We have been tested and found not wanting. Terrorism will never defeat us. We will not surrender or bend,” he stated.
Strategy Used by Commandos to Eliminate Riverside Terrorist
During the wee hours of Wednesday morning, 14 commandos killed four attackers who had unleashed terror at Dusit D2 Hotel.
The elite force used remote-controlled robots for surveillance and to map out the floors where the attackers were suspected to be holed up.
The recce squad was formed by two commando units with seven members each.
After locating the terrorists in the seventh floor, one team held their positions on the fifth floor and locked the exit leading to the sixth floor.
The commandos also switched off power supply to the entire building to disable the lifts.
The other team used ropes to scale the sides of the building and access the seventh floor through a window.
Their entry forced the terrorists to try retreating to the sixth floor, but they realised the door leading to the staircase had been locked.
According to Stanadard, some of the terrorists were still communicating with people in Kiambu and Somalia.
Their commander even sent images of victims of the attack to unidentified persons in Somalia.
An idea to jam communication at the complex was floated, but it was rejected.
“We felt that by blocking communication we would cause panic among those trapped therein and who were in touch with their loved ones. This idea was defeated and the jammer removed from the scene,” an official mentioned.
At about 4am, a decision was made to storm the room where the four terrorists were and in a matter of seconds, the attackers had been killed
However the terrorists had tossed grenades at the officers, which bounced off the shields and back to them.
When the grenades exploded, they injured two commandos in the legs.
The injured officers were rushed to hospital and are in a stable condition.