Nairobi, Sep 28: Kenya will not be cowed by acts of terrorism, said President Uhuru Kenyatta Friday, adding that the recent Westgate attack by Al-Qaeda allied militants will not be able to dampen the spirit of Kenyans.
He described the terrorists as cowards and mindless criminals who had failed in their evil mission of instilling fear among Kenyans and the nation, Xinhua reported.
“The unfortunate incident by the cowards brought us closer as Kenyans and strengthened our resolve to fight terrorism more aggressively,” Kenyatta said during a funeral service of his nephew and his nephew’s fiancee in Nairobi.
At least 59 people continued to be missing Friday, six days after the terror attack on a mall in Nairobi, the Kenya Red Cross Society said. The attack on the upscale Westgate shopping mall was carried out last Saturday and ended four days later.
Kenyatta praised Kenyans for standing together and refusing to be intimidated by perpetrators of the Westgate Mall terror attack.
His remarks came as Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku said the police were holding eight suspects, while adding that of the 11 suspects arrested, three were interrogated and released.
“This being a terrorism activity, we are operating under the Anti-Terrorism Act which allows for suspects to be held for longer periods before being arraigned in Court,” he said.
In view of the security situation, Lenku said the level of Interpol alertness has been raised in respect to known global terrorists including the British woman Samantha Lewthwaite.
Kenya’s Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku told the media Friday that the death toll from the terror attack stood at 67, including 61 civilians and six security officers.
According to India’s external affairs ministry, four Indian nationals were among those killed.
They are Jyotibala Dharmesh Vaya from Junagadh in Gujarat, Sridhar Natarajan, 40, an employee of a local pharmaceutical firm Harley’s Limited who belonged to Tamil Nadu, Paramshu Jain, 8, son of Manoj Jain, the branch manager of Industrial Area Branch, Bank of Baroda (Kenya Limited), and Sudharshan B. Nagaraj of Bangalore, who was in the book trade and had arrived in Nairobi Sep 20 in transit to Kampala and Accra.
However, dozens of Kenyan-Indians have also lost their lives, as well as businesses. Third generation Indians are dominant residents in the area where the mall is located.
Somali group Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack.