“They just came in and threw a grenade. We were running and they opened fire. They were shouting and firing,” said Jay Patel who was on an upper floor of the mall when the shooting began.
Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, speaking in a nationally televised address today, said that at least 39 people were killed and at least 150 others were injured in the terror attack.
According to a U.S. official, eight to 12 gunmen may have initiated their attack by dropping grenades from a second floor balcony of the Westgate Mall before opening fire.
There were 30 American citizens, including embassy personnel, in the mall at the time of the attack, but they have all been evacuated and are accounted for, the official said. The are no reports of deaths among Americans.
Three Americans have been reported injured and were at a local hospital, the official said.
An American citizen’s father has been killed, but the father was not an American citizen, according to the official.
The wife of a USAID Foreign Service National was also killed, the official said.
A local hospital was overwhelmed with the number of wounded being brought in hours after the attack, so they had to divert them to a second facility.
Initially it was believed the gang were armed robbers but it soon became clear the attackers were targeting non-Muslims.
“The gunmen told Muslims to stand up and leave. They were safe, and non-Muslims would be targeted,” said witness Elijah Kamau who was shopping in the mall.
State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf said U.S. officials were closely monitoring the situation.
“We condemn this senseless act of violence that has resulted in death and injury for many innocent men, women, and children. Our condolences go out to the families and friends of all victims. We have reports of American citizens injured in the attack, and the U.S. Embassy is actively reaching out to provide assistance,” Harf said in a statement.
The attack occurred as worshipers left the All Saints Church in the old quarter of the regional capital, Peshawar, following a service on Sunday morning. Up to 600 worshipers had attended the service, and were leaving for a distribution of free food on the lawn outside, when two explosions ripped through the crowd.
Dozens of people were killed and more than 100 wounded, said Akhtar Ali Shah, the home secretary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The death toll continued to rise as rescue workers sifted through the damaged church property, said Hamid Ullah, a rescue worker with Al Khidmat Foundation, a rescue service operated by the Jamaat-e-Islami political party, said his team has recovered 75 bodies and put them in the coffins
The death toll continued to rise as rescue workers sifted through the damaged church property, said Hamid Ullah, a rescue worker with Al Khidmat Foundation, a rescue service operated by the Jamaat-e-Islami political party, said his team has recovered 75 bodies and put them in the coffins.
Here is another report on the same attack
Suicide attack hits Pakistan church, 52 dead PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A suicide bomb attack on a historic church in northwestern Pakistan killed at least 52 people Sunday, officials said, in one of the worst assaults on the country’s Christian minority in years.
The bombing in Peshawar, which wounded another 100, underlines the threat posed by Islamic extremists as the government seeks a peace deal with domestic Taliban militants.
It occurred as hundreds of worshippers were coming out of the church in the city’s Kohati Gate district after services to get a free meal of rice offered on the front lawn, said a top government administrator, Sahibzada Anees.
Muslims hate non-Muslims – it’s completely clear . There is no other religion in the world which is doing such massacres against those who don’t follow their suicidal code.
Pakistanis, who were giving lectures to the world and especially the Burmese Buddhists over the treatment of minority Muslims in Burma openly attacked Christians in their own “Pornistan” – aka the Land of Pure – reason- a Christian boy played music on his cellphone.
By playing music, the boy “disrespected” the most peaceful religion in the world after which the peace loving followers ransacked Christian houses and property.
According to initial information, a group of Christian boys was snubbed by a local cleric for playing music on their cell phones while passing by a mosque on Tuesday evening.
“Our boys were passing the mosque when the prayer leader objected to their playing music on cell phones. The boys turned off the music at that moment but switched it on again after covering some distance. The cleric raised a clamour and accused the boys of showing disrespect to Islam. As word spread of the incident, we immediately went to the police post in our colony and shared our security concerns with them. The police told us not to worry and assured us that they would contain the situation but no measures were taken,” Pervaiz, a resident of Francis Colony in Gujranwala, told Pakistan Today.
He said that around 2pm, a Muslim mob from the nearby Naroki village attacked the neighbourhood, ransacking shops, houses and around 5-7 vehicles parked on the road. “We saw a police mobile of the area’s checkpost parked in the vicinity but they did not intervene and let the mob damage our property,” he said, adding that the mob dispersed after local Christians took out their weapons and started firing in the air to deter them.
Pakistan Today made repeated attempts to contact the police officials concerned, including Regional Police Officer Amin Waince but they did not receive the calls.
After playing the role of a silent spectator, the police took action and resorted to aerial firing and hurling stones indiscriminately at the mob to disperse it. The mob also pelted stones back at the police.
Muslims – whatever is happening to you in Burma, Srilanka you deserve it – just get over.
People with Muslim backgrounds are most concentrated in London (38% of the total UK Muslim population) and other large urban areas, including the West Midlands (14% of the Muslim population), the North West (13%), and Yorkshire and the Humber (12%). Within these areas, Muslims are highly concentrated spatially. Muslims make up 8% of the population of London overall, but 36% of the Tower Hamlets area and 24% of the Newham area population. —————– More than half of Muslim adults living in England and Wales in 2001 said their religion was important to their self-identity. —————– Muslims households were the least likely to be homeowners (52%) and are the most likely among all religious groups to be living in accommodation rented from the council or housing association (28%); 4% live rent-free. —————– 32% of Muslim households live in overcrowded accommodation. Average family size for a Muslim family is 3.8, which can contribute to overcrowding. 34% of Muslim households contained more than five people. 63% contained at least one dependent child, and 25% contained three or more dependent children. —————– Unemployment rates were higher for Muslims than any other religion, for both men and women. Muslim male unemployment rate was 13% in 2004, and for women it was 18%. —————– Muslims between the ages of 16 and 24 had the highest unemployment rates at 28%; 11% of Muslims over the age of 25 were unemployed. —————– Muslims were most likely to be unavailable or not actively seeking work due to reasons such as disability, being a student, or looking after the family and home. 31% of working-age men were economically inactive, as were 69% of working-age women. —————– With 34% of Muslims under the age of 16 in 2001, Muslims have the youngest age profile of all the religious groups in Great Britain. Less than one in ten were aged 65 or older. —————– 74% of Muslims are from an Asian ethnic background (Pakistani – 43%, Bangladeshi – 16%, Indian – 8%, Other Asian – 6%), Almost 1.2 million Asian Muslims were living in Great Britain in 2001. Another 11% were from a White ethnic background, including 4% of White British origin and 7% from another White background (including Turkish, Cypriot, Arab and Eastern European). 6% of Muslims were of Black African origin, mainly from North and West Africa. —————– Muslims, both male and female, had the highest rates of reported ill health in 2000. Age-standardized rates of “not good” health were 13% for Muslim males and 16% for Muslim females. —————– Muslims had the highest rates of disability, with 24% of females and 21% of males claiming a disability. —————– 33% of working-age Muslims in Great Britain had no qualifications in 2004, which is the highest rate of any religious group. At 12%, they were also the least likely to have degrees or equivalent qualifications. —————– The Government estimates the number of mosques in the UK to be around 1,000. —————– According to a poll of 600 Muslim and 800 non-Muslim students at thirty universities throughout the UK conducted by the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC), as reported ref B, 32 percent of Muslims on UK campuses believe killing in the name of religion is justified, 54 percent wanted a Muslim Party to represent their world view in Parliament, and 40 percent want Muslims in the UK to be under Sharia law. Only 2 percent of non-Muslims felt killing in the name of religion could be justified and none believed it was acceptable for Muslims in the UK to have a religious-based party, or to be under Sharia law. 73 percent of Muslim students are at least occasional participants in Friday services while only 2 percent of non-Muslim students attend any religious service. The poll results also found that 73 percent of Muslim students believe it is possible to be both Muslim and British and a similar number believe their parents are “much more or somewhat more” strict Muslims than they are. In addition only six percent believed that people who leave Islam for another religion should be “punished according to Sharia law” (killed).
Fearing attacks on them in the wake of ethnic violence in Assam, hundreds of Assamese youth left Mumbai and reached Guwahati by train on Friday. Though none of them was attacked in Mumbai, the youth, mostly Bodos, said last week’s violence in Azad Maidan and talks of possible attacks on Northeasterners after Ramzan prompted them to leave the city.
A protest against attacks on Muslims in Assam and Myanmar held at Azad Maidan on August 11 turned ugly with 45 policemen injured in the violence.
Dharmen Basumatary, 22, who worked in a bakery in Vashi, said he was threatened by local Muslims whenever he stepped out of his house. “They said enjoy Mumbai as much as you can till Eid, but after that you will have to face dire consequences,” said Basumatary, who is from Dhekiajuli, Assam. He said 100-300 youth have fled Mumbai. “Communal riots are dangerous. We have only one life and I don’t want to take a risk,” said Basumatary.
Babul Basumatary, 29, from Udalguri said he and his friends from Assam were threatened. “The local Muslim youth told us to leave Mumbai if we loved our lives,” said Babul, who was working in a company in Navi Mumbai. Manoj Kumba, 26, said he left Mumbai after the management of the glass factory where he was employed expressed its inability to give him protection. “Twelve of us from Assam were working there. On Tuesday, the management told us to leave as they feared we would be attacked,” he said.