When Kenya sent thousands of soldiers across the border to hunt down Al-Shabaab in Somalia, the Islamist militant group warned they would get their revenge. On Saturday, and through the weekend, the nightmares promised by Al-Shabaab became a bloody, body-strewn reality. SIMON ALLISON explains how Somalia's messy civil war spilled out of its borders, and wonders if Kenya's politicians will ask themselves the hard questions, or revert to the bombast that got them involved in the first place.
It's easy to forget, wandering through Nairobi, that this is a nation at war. There are a few clues - the mirror checks for car bombs, the metal detectors in supermarkets and public buildings, the odd grenade outside a nightclub - but the battlefield is far away and the fighting sporadic. In this year's presidential election, the war wasn't even a campaign issue, with candidates preferring instead to bicker about parliamentarians' salaries and the International Criminal Court.
There's no forgetting now.
With 68 people dead in the fancy Westgate shopping mall, at least 175 others nursing bullet injuries and an unknown number being held hostage somewhere in the building, the war has arrived in Nairobi in the most tragic possible way.