Attack on Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Takes At Least 69 Lives

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Nearly two weeks after a terrorist attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya on Sept. 21, the effects are still evident. The death toll is now at 69 with 39 people still missing, according to the Wall Street Journal. The mall itself is in ruins, and many stores inside have been looted.

In addition to the loss of life, the attack has also affected Kenya’s economy. Moody’s Investment Services and the World Travel and Tourism Council estimated Kenya would lose $200 to 250 million in tourism. Tourism is responsible for 14 percent of Kenya’s GDP, according to philly.com.

Phyllis Kandie, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for East African Affairs, Commerce, and Tourism, said of the attack however, “This was a very unfortunate, isolated case and it’s being managed. I believe it’s safe to go to any part of Kenya, and I’d advise travelers to travel as normal.”

The siege lasted four days after the initial attack with gunmen taking hostages and exchanging in firefights with police. The mall was a popular destination for foreigners visiting Kenya, some of whom are among the dead and injured.Al-Shabab, a terrorist group based out of Somalia, which has links to al-Qaeda, has claimed responsibility for the attack. They claim their reason for the attack is the Kenyan troops currently in Somalia, according to BBC News.

The attack seems to have been highly organized. The attackers studied the blueprints of the mall extensively before the attack and even stashed machine guns in the building beforehand with the help of a mall employee, the New York Times reports.

Workers continue to sift through the rubble in search of more victims and answers following one of the worst tragedies in Kenya’s recent history.

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