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Forensic Teams Move Into Nairobi Mall To Investigate Militant Attack

posted 26 Sept 2013, 06:59 by Mpelembe   [ updated 26 Sept 2013, 07:00 ]

Foreign forensic investigators join their Kenyan counterparts at the Nairobi mall where an attack claimed by Somali Islamist militants killed at least 72 people and destroyed part of the complex, after armoured vehicles leave the area.

NAIROBIKENYA (SEPTEMBER 25, 2013)  (CITIZEN TV) -  Foreign forensic investigation teams joined their Kenyan counterparts on Wednesday (September 25) as they began examining the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, where the Somali Islamist militant group al Shabaab claimed to be responsible for the killing of dozens.

Armoured personnel carriers were seen driving away from the mall after Kenyan forces had gained full control of the complex, allowing the task of forensic investigation to begin after a four-day stand-off

U.S., British and Israeli agencies are helping Kenya investigate the attack on the mall that killed at least 72 people and destroyed part of the complex, officials said on Wednesday.

Speaking after a team of German police, part of the forensic investigation team, was seen walking towards the complex, the British High Commissioner to KenyaChristian Turner, told reporters outside the mall that safety was still the paramount concern.

"As you know the current situation is that the current phase is to try and ensure that the building is safe and secure so that then the really detailed police work can begin to secure the crime scene and gather the forensic evidence," he said.

"I think from what I've been told there is a clear need to manage expectations. This could take some time," he told local media.

"We all want answers, we all want to know who's responsible for this brutal, cowardly and unconscionable act, but we now need to let the professionals do their job," he added.

Turner later said speculation over the precise series of events leading up to and during the attack was futile, and that professional investigators should be left to do their jobs.

Kenyan television station KTN released stills taken from CCTV cameras inside the mall during the attack, showing men dressed as militants carrying automatic weapons walking through the mall.

The attack has highlighted the reach of al Shabaab and the capabilities of its crack unit which claimed responsibility for the bloodshed in the Westgate mall, confirming international fears thatSomalia would remain a recruiting and training ground for militant Islam as long as it remained in turmoil.

The militants stormed the mall, known for its Western shops selling iPads and Nike shoes, in a hail of gunfire and grenades at lunchtime on Saturday (September 21).

Late on Wednesday night, al Shabaab's leader for the first time confirmed claims by his group's members that it was behind the attack on the mall.