Kenyan police mark anniversary of 2013 terror attack
Al-Shabaab terrorists killed at least 67 people during 4-day siege at Nairobi's Westgate Mall in 2013
Kenya’s national police on Tuesday marked the eighth anniversary of the 2013 Westgate terror attack in the capital Nairobi that killed nearly 70 people and left hundreds more injured.
On this day eight years ago, four masked gunmen walked into Westgate Mall and attacked unarmed shoppers, killing and injuring innocent people over the course of a four-day siege, the police said in a statement, adding: “Westgate served us important lessons.”
In 2013, al-Shabaab terrorists from Somalia claimed responsibility for the attack, calling it retribution for Kenya’s decision to send troops to Somalia, who have been in the neighboring Horn of Africa country since 2011 as part of an African Union peacekeeping mission.
The national police service listed some of the reforms that it has implemented over the years to ensure Kenyans are well protected from such attacks.
Over the past eight years, the service has hired over 40,000 new police officers.
“Consequently, we have had enhanced police presence at our security installations across the country. Furthermore, the service installed a reliable surveillance system in major towns and cities and procured modern security equipment,” the police said.
The police have also involved people in a community policing initiative to build trust, leading to more information on terror and organized crimes.
At least 48 Kenyans and 19 foreigners of various nationalities were killed during the attack.