1244 GMT February 20, 2019
More than 700 civilians were evacuated from DusitD2 Complex after a 20-hour siege that echoed a 2013 assault that killed 67 people in Nairobi’s Westgate shopping center in the same neighborhood, Reuters reported.
Some hid under desks as bullets shattered plate glass doors. Others jumped from windows, or ran out under fire.
“The security operation at Dusit Complex is over, and all the terrorists eliminated,” President Uhuru Kenyatta told the nation.
“As of this moment, we can confirm that 14 innocent lives were lost through the hands of these murderous terrorists.”
Kenyatta did not specify how many assailants there were, but CCTV clips showed at least five dressed in black.
One is seen waiting outside the restaurant before blowing himself up in a cloud of debris just after 3 p.m. (1200 GMT). Four others then shoot assault rifles crossing the car park.
The attack was claimed by Al-Shabaab terrorist group, an Al-Qaeda affiliate fighting an insurgency to topple the weak UN-backed government.
Airstrikes against the group have stepped up under US President Donald Trump, but Tuesday’s attack showed it retains ability to strike outside Somalia’s borders.
Neighboring Kenya, a hub for expatriates, became a frequent target for Al-Shabaab after sending troops into Somalia to try to create a buffer zone along the long, porous border.
Eleven Kenyans, an American and a Briton were among the casualties, morgue staff said. By Wednesday lunchtime, messages still circulated on social media asking for help finding people.
Some victims had been dining in the Secret Garden restaurant and lay slumped at tables, photos seen by Reuters showed.
Kenya is home to hundreds of diplomats, aid workers, businessmen and others.