Islamic terrorist group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for an attack on an upscale hotel and office complex in Nairobi, Kenya, that killed at least five and wounded 14 more, according to reports.
Hotel guests and workers at the DusitD2 compound were reportedly gunned down, and explosives were detonated during the attack, which included at least one suicide bombing.
Some reports indicate the death toll may be as high as seven, although authorities have yet to announce any casualty information.
“We can now confirm that this criminal activity commenced at about three o’clock in a coordinated fashion and began at I&M Bank with an explosion that targeted three vehicles in the parking lot,” said Kenyan national police chief Joseph Boinnet.
An al-Shabab spokesman claimed his group had killed 47 people during the siege in a statement to Al Jazeera.
“Our fighters killed 47 enemies inside the complex. The mujahideen are still in control of most parts of the building complex,” he said.
Witnesses shared terrifying accounts from the gruesome scene.
“We were changing our shifts, and that is when I heard a loud blast and people were screaming,” said Enoch Kibet, a cleaner at the complex. “I couldn’t believe I was alive. The blast was so loud and shook the whole complex.”
If I die I love the Lord and believe I will go to heaven please tell my family I love then I love you Caleb, Mark and Carol
— Ron Ng’eno (@ronald_ngeno) January 15, 2019
“If I die I love the Lord and believe I will go to heaven please tell my family I love then I love you Caleb, Mark and Carol,” tweeted Ron Ng’eno, who says he was trapped in a bathroom during the raid.
“It is terrible. What I have seen is terrible,” said Charles Njenga, another witness. “I have seen a human as I ran out and there is what looks like minced meat all over.”
Police say they have regained control of the complex and are mitigating the aftermath.
A similar attack, also carried out by the Somalia-based terrorist group al-Shabab, took place in 2013 at the nearby Nairobi Westgate shopping mall, resulting in at least 67 dead and 200 wounded.
Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst