Inside Kenya shopping mall, a house of horrors
The al-Shabab terrorists who seized a Kenyan shopping mall for four days tortured, maimed and mutilated some of their 67 victims, leaving a tattered scene of ghoulish, gruesome remains that investigators likened to scenes from a horror movie.
Hostages were left hanging and had their eyes gouged, others were dismembered. Others had their throats slashed or were castrated and had fingers amputated, according to media reports quoting soldiers, medical personnel and investigators sorting through the rubble of the collapsed mall.
Kenya’s The Star, quoting a forensics doctor, said all of the victims were mutilated. Britain’s Daily Mail reported children stashed in refrigerators with knives in their bodies.
“You find people with hooks hanging from the roof. They removed eyes, ears, nose. Actually if you look at all the bodies, unless those ones that were escaping, fingers are cut by pliers, the noses are ripped by pliers,” said the doctor. The Star said he declined to give his name.
Some of the terrorists’ bodies also appeared to have been burned by fellow extremists to protect their identities.
Allegations that hostages had been raped and others beheaded could not be verified, although those claims have circulated since Kenyan military forces ended the four-day mall siege earlier this week.
More than 70 people remain missing, but it could take up to a week before the mall is thoroughly searched.
Investigators says evidence showed the Somali-based al-Shabab planned the attack for some time, renting a shop in the mall and posing as businessmen, then moving weapons and supplies inside the mall up to weeks before last weekend’s attack.
Up to 15 terrorists are believed to have conducted the attacks. Five were killed at at least 10 were arrested.
There’s speculation that Samantha Lewthwaite, a Brit dubbed the “white widow,” was involved in the attack, although Kenyan authorities say there’s no evidence she was in Nairobi. Interpol had earlier issued an arrest warrant for Lewthwaite based on prior terrorist attacks. She was married to suicide bomber Germaine Lindsay, who killed 26 people on a London train in 2005, and in 2011 was linked to a Islamic terrorist cell in Kenya.
Al-Shabab is warning Kenya could be hit by more bloodshed if its military isn’t withdrawn from southern Somalia. Kenyan troops entered the country in 2011 to help the Somali government’s fight against al-Shabab.
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