Sabahi (Washington, DC)

19 April 2013

Kenya: Gunmen Kill At Least 9 in Garissa

Gunmen shot and killed at least nine civilians and seriously injured four others at a hotel in Garissa on Thursday (April 18th), security officials told Sabahi.

An unknown number of armed men walked into the Holiday Inn Hotel at around 7:30 pm and opened fire indiscriminately at the patrons having dinner and watching television, with what witnesses at the scene said were AK-47 rifles.

Garissa County Commissioner Mohammed Maalim said six died on the spot and three succumbed to their injuries while undergoing treatment at the Garissa General Hospital. He said the injured were in stable condition.

Maalim blamed al-Shabaab for the attacks. "These are acts of al-Shabaab who detest peace, but we will reign on them," he said.

North Eastern regional Police Chief Charlton Mureithi told Sabahi that no arrests have yet been made, but police have launched a manhunt in Garissa.

James Chege, the owner of the hotel, said he was handling money at the cashier when he heard gunshots.

"I knew we were under attack and I ducked behind the counter. The gunshot lasted for about two minutes," he told Sabahi.

This is the second time the hotel has been targeted after a grenade attack there in November 2011 left two people dead and scores injured.

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