Kenya Security Forces Suspected of Looting Mall after Attack

By: NBC
By: NBC
Security forces used to secure the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, are believed to have stolen large amounts of cash, jewelry, and other merchandise from  the shops after the terrorist attackers were eliminated.

Kenyan army soldiers and police officers patrol near the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. Kenyan security forces battled al-Qaida-linked terrorists in an upscale mall for a third day Monday in what they said was a final push to rescue the last few hostages in a siege that has left at least 62 people dead. (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)

Nairobi, Kenya - The destruction left behind from last month's attack at the Westgate Mall in Kenya suggests there was widespread looting in the aftermath of the attack. Jewelry cases were smashed, mobile phones taken from their displays, cash registers emptied and alcohol stocks plundered.

This is the second time in two months, poorly-paid Kenyan security forces that moved in to control an emergency are being accused of robbing those they were supposed to protect. First, troops were accused of looting during a huge fire at the capital's main airport in August. Now shop owners at Westgate Mall are returning to their stores after last week's attack to find their stores ransacked.

No one can say for sure who is responsible, but Kenya's security forces are strongly suspected.

Soon after the attack, officials cordoned off the mall, allowing only security forces and a few government personnel in. Since then, store owners have been reporting missing goods and property. One business owner said even money and mobile phones were taken from bags and purses left behind in the mayhem.

The September 21st attack on Westgate mall killed at least 67 people. More than three dozen people remain unaccounted for, according to the Red Cross. The government claims there are no remaining missing civilians.


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