Al-Shabaab claims attack on luxurious Nairobi Hotel

By January 16, 2019

Kenya (MNN) – Yesterday the Dusit D2 hotel in the Westlands neighborhood of Nairobi, Kenya was attacked. The attack happened around 3pm local time in the city’s ex-pat district. The culprits—the infamous terrorist organization from Somalia, Al Shabab. Sharing more on what happened is DOOR International’s Director of Consulting Services Shadrack Kakui.

“My colleagues told me that there was a huge blast and that there have been heard gunshots from the same area. And that they, generally people are scared and there’s a lot of fear that is engulfing the whole Nairobi region right now.”

Nairobi Attack

Smoke rising from the Westgate Mall area in Nairobi, Kenya, 2013.
(Photo, caption courtesy Kul Wadhwa via Wikimedia Commons)

At least seven people are dead, and the death toll is expected to rise. Nairobi isn’t new to attacks from Al-Shabab. In 2013, the extremist group sieged Nairobi’s Westgate Mall. The event left 67 dead and scars that have been reopened with this latest attack.

DOOR International in Kenya is roughly 30 kilometers from where this attack took place. The organization’s site was not directly impacted, but people are still fearful. Many DOOR employees go in and out of Nairobi regularly. Now, there’s a cloud of anxiety hanging over the city.

“One of the biggest worries that when Al-Shabab comes, they are not in uniform. And so, nobody knows when they are attacking and when they are not attacking. And so, that creates a sense of anxiety and fear and that sort of thing,” Kakui says.

Target of Extremism

Kakui was made aware of a man stuck in the hotel and posting live information on Twitter. The man, who is a Christian, was tweeting how the attackers were moving room to room. He prayed to survive, but he also tweeted goodbye to his family. There is no news regarding where he is now.

UPDATE: Ron Ng’eno has been rescued and is home with his family now.

(Photo courtesy of Door International)

In the past, Al-Shabab has been known to separate people based on religion, often between Muslims and Christians, and murder Christians where they stood. Whether Christians are the target now is unclear. What is clear is that this attack will not be the last.

“Kenya is a Christian country and it is thought that the [extremist] Muslim agenda is needed to be advanced in the country. One of the ways in which some think the Islam agenda wants to be advanced in Kenya is through such attacks and fear…it sort of provides a soft landing for people who have converted into Islam should anything like an attack [happen],” Kakui says.

Pray for people in Nairobi. Ask God to give them courage in the face of fear, hope amid disaster, and peace in the chaos. Pray for comfort for those who are grieving, in pain, and scared. Ask God to comfort the families and friends of those who have been killed and wounded. And finally, pray for God to be present during this disaster and for peace in Kenya.



Header photo courtesy of ILRI via Flickr.

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