Westgate shoppers give al-Shabab the middle finger

20 July 2015 - 02:02 By Reuters


Kenya's Westgate shopping mall reopened on Saturday nearly two years after al-Shabab Islamic terrorists from Somalia massacred at least 67 people there and held out for four days as security forces laid siege to the complex. Once an emblem of Kenya's growing prosperity, the Westgate mall has since become symbolic of growing insecurity in the east African nation - and of President Uhuru Kenyatta's inability to prevent frequent Islamist attacks.Images beamed across the world during the September 2013 raid dented Kenya's image abroad and scared off tourists, damaging a vital sector of the economy.Nairobi governor Evans Kidero said the reopening of the mall showed the resilience of the Kenyan people."There will be apprehensions but, as a country, we are safer than ever and we will continue to work to ensure that our country is safe," he said.Thousands of people turned up when the doors opened on Saturday morning, and shops and restaurants across the complex were crowded."When terrorists attack, one of their main aims is to ensure that where they destroy people pull down those buildings and put up memorial parks but in Westgate we refused to do that," said shopper Eric Muluka.But, in a reminder of the security threat, armed police guarded the entrance to the complex and new features include explosives detectors, luggage X-ray scanners and cameras to check for bombs underneath cars.

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