15th January 16, 2019 at around 3PM, Kenya’s toughest month became even tougher. The conversation changed, it was no longer about who will succeed President Kenyatta. Explosions and gunfire took center stage at the 14 riverside Drive. The nation was under attack and one more time, international media shifted their lenses to a nation that first had a major terrorism incident in 1975, the Nairobi Bombing.
So far the nation has had nine major terrorism incidences, lives have been lost, property destroyed and many more thrown into lifetime trauma. The Nairobi Hotel attack at the 14 Riverside Drive is now the latest and the most fresh in the memory of many and on the headlines to almost all media stations across the globe, now this is what we know as far as things stand.
Yesterday at around 3PM the attack begun at 14 Riverside, a building which houses offices, retail outlets, and restaurants along with the upscale DusitD2 hotel. According to the national police, the attack started at the I&M Bank .The first sound from this was that of an explosion that targeted three vehicles at a parking lot, the second incident was at the DusitD2 hotel and this saw the first set of injuries from the guests. As at now, it is reported that the number of dead casualties are between five and 14 people (official count yet to be confirmed) with several victims being wounded.
But just why did the terrorists choose the 14 Riverside Drive, the fact that its located in the west of the capital city of Kenya, with the Australian high commission offices, a university of Nairobi hostels among many other landmarks around, maybe convinced the attackers that it was the best position to send whatever message they wanted to put through.
As at now, A-Shabaab though their military spokesperson in an exclusive with Al-Jazeera news, claimed responsibility over the attack.
Worth noting also is the fact that the interior cabinet secretary Fred Matiangi has confirmed that all then seven floors at the 14 Riverside Drive have been secured, that means that everything is now under total control. The bravery with which the men in uniform faced the whole operation is also something to be commended, it has been long hours of tactical operation. In addition, for the first time in history, we have not seen Kenyans going on social media with videos and images from the crime scene showing the negative side of the attack, something that has so far worked to the advantage of saving lives, blinding the enemies in any way possible.
However, even as all these happen, the fact that we were attacked in broad day light, with the inspector general of police stating that the attack was well coordinated leaves many questions begging for answers. Just how porous are we as a nation?
That is all we know right now, we will keep you posted.
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