Kenya mall attack leaves at least 22 dead

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NAIROBI, Kenya (CBS)– Gunmen threw grenades and opened fire Saturday killing at least 22 people in an attack targeting non-Muslims at an upscale mall in Kenya’s capital that was hosting a children’s day event, a Red Cross official and witnesses said.

The attackers remained inside and firing subsided as military surrounded the mall hours after the attack. People continued to trickle out from hiding places within the Westgate mall, which is frequented by expatriates and rich Kenyans in Nairobi’s affluent Westlands neighborhood.

Kenya Red Cross official Abbas Gullet said at least 22 people were killed in the attack that police blamed on terrorists. He said the death toll would likely rise.

“We are treating this as a terrorist attack,” said police chief Benson Kibue, adding that there are likely no more than 10 attackers involved.

Police did not say what group was responsible for the attack.

A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi told CBS News that the embassy wasn’t sure whether any Americans were killed or injured in the attack and that the embassy was in the process of gathering information.

Somali’s rebel group al-Shabab vowed in late 2011 to carry out a large-scale attack in Nairobi in retaliation for Kenya’s sending of troops into Somalia to fight the Islamic insurgents.

Off duty Sgt. Major Frank Mugungu said Saturday he saw four male attackers and one female, and that he could clearly identify one of the gunmen as a Somali, though he could not identify the rest.

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