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Terrorism & Insurgency

Assault on hotel complex by suspected Al-Shabaab militants indicates intent and occasional capability to target Kenya’s capital

16 January 2019
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At least 14 people were killed and 30 others wounded when six militants conducted a suicide improvised explosive device (IED) and small-arms assault on the 14 Riverside Road hotel and office complex in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

The complex comprises several Western businesses and the hotel is popular with foreign nationals. Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen’s (Al-Shabaab) spokesperson claimed responsibility for the attack via an affiliate’s social media channel. This is the first successful attack claimed by Al-Shabaab militants in Nairobi since the 21 September 2013 attack on the Westgate shopping centre, which killed 68 people. It also took place on the third anniversary of the El-Adde attack in Somalia that killed 140 Kenyan soldiers and the day after the postponed trial of suspects accused of supporting the Westgate attackers was announced to proceed, although this was not mentioned in Al-Shabaab’s claim.

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