Kenyan troops ‘may have looted’ Westgate Shopping Mall

By Richard A Luce

This showcase had mainly. ladies jewellery displayed invitingly before the attack.
This showcase had mainly. ladies jewellery displayed invitingly before the attack (Photo by Irene Anyango)

For four days the world held its breath as the al-Qaeda-linked Somali terrorist group, Al-Shabaab allegedly defied all attempts to subdue them when they stormed the Westgate Shopping Mall in Kenya’s capital Nairobi and started shooting everyone that did not answer to knowing an Islamic prayer.

The attack on the mall left several families around the world devastated as at least 72 people are now feared to have been killed during the four days that Al-Shabaab was thought to have been holding up against Kenya’s elite commando troops assisted by Israel’s secret police, British security services and a host of other Western security services.

But this story has since dramatically changed after shop owners were allowed to enter the partly-destroyed mall on Monday only to be met by gaping empty spaces where their goods had been before the attack on the mall took place. As Kenyan security forces laid siege to the Mall while the terrorist were believed to be still holding hostages inside, a ring of steel was thrown around the vast complex, making it virtually impossible for anyone either to go in or come out. So where did the looters come from?

Reuters news agency is now reporting that store owners who have entered the mall to check on what they could salvage from the partly burnt building, were amazed to find that as no one could have come in or gone out of the building during the four days, it must have been Kenyan security personnel who helped themselves to various goods that included expensive watches, gold rings and bracelets etc., while they were at the same time carrying out the task of trying to apprehend the Al-Shabaab terrorists.

The shop owners say tills were found forced open and cash taken out, jewellery was missing from stands in shops and various electronic shops had been looted clean during the four-day siege. Kenya’s Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku was quoted as saying that his government took such allegations seriously but in the same note defended the security services who he said had done all they could to protect the property in the mall and hinted at some of the property being held by soldiers in order to protect them from being taken away.

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