The Dusit Complex, a unique office and hotel complex in the leafy Riverside area of Westlands, Nairobi, hosts the offices of several multinational companies, non-governmental organizations, and other prestigious organizations. The complex is also a walking distance from the Australian Embassy in Nairobi. It is also close to the Kempinski Hotel where many heads of states visiting the Republic of Kenya stay. Most notable is that Dusit is about 4 kilometers from the State House. It is also within Westlands District of Nairobi where Westgate Mall is located. This makes the upscale Dusit Hotel and office complex a workplace and choice stay-place for a significant number of expatriates and staffers of these organizations. This profile makes Dusit an attractive target for terrorist groups.
At 1530Hrs EAT, armed with AK-47 assault rifles, a group of between 4 -6 radical Islamists forced entry into the hotel shooting guests discriminately after detonating explosives at the buildings parking lot. Initial assessment shows over 2 dozens of guests and persons working inside the complex were killed by the assailants. A significant number of people sustained serious injuries with some succumbing to them before rescue.
The attack has been officially claimed by the Somali based Al-Qaeda branch, Harakat Al-Shabaab Mujahideen. The terrorist group issued a statement through its military operations spokesperson, Abu Muscaab, confirming that its members were conducting a terrorist attack in upmarket Kenya. All indicators are that the Kenya security forces have the upper hand in the operation and that they’ll end the siege on the building tonight despite the challenge of night operations.
Security agencies in Kenya have issued a statement confirming that elite rapid response teams were promptly deployed into the scene and managed to rescue a large number of persons inside the building. The statement further confirmed that, the security teams had secured up to 6 floors of the complex and that they were moving to the 7th floor. While there are no reports of decommissioning of the terrorists, early assessment show 2 of the attackers have been successfully taken out. Towards 2100hrs EAT, a significant decline of gunfire as the commandos close in and lay a siege on the enemy, another indicator that the Kenya security forces are making strategic progress against the attackers.