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ANC condemns Kenya attack

Paramedics and police officers run outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi after heavy shooting started.

Paramedics and police officers run outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi after heavy shooting started.

Published Sep 23, 2013


Johannesburg - The ANC on Monday condemned the murder of at least 69 people at a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya.

“We send our heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives, the injured and to the general population of Kenya during this tragic time,” spokesman Jackson Mthembu said on Monday.

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“We further more submit our deepest sympathies to the families of other foreign nationals who were killed during the mall attack and in particular the family of South African national, James Thomas.”

Over 175 people were wounded and others held hostage when militants opened fire on people in the Westgate mall on Saturday. They reportedly spared Muslims.

The ruling party supported the call made by Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, former prime minister Raila Odinga and the international community that those responsible be found and punished.

Earlier on Monday, international relations and co-operation department spokesman Clayson Monyela said South African officials were in contact with Kenyan authorities following the attack.

“Our officials are on the ground and are in touch with local authorities. South Africans in the area should contact the South African mission... if they require assistance,” he said.

Monyela said in a statement on Sunday that South African was killed during a shoot-out at the mall. The Star identified him as Capetonian businessman James Thomas, 57, who was in Kenya for business.

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Agence France-Presse AFP reported on Monday that around a dozen assailants were involved in the attack and Kenyan security forces were locked in a fierce battle with the attackers.

Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab insurgents claimed responsibility for the attack.

“We think the operation will come to an end soon,” Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku told reporters camped outside the vast, part Israeli-owned complex on Monday, AFP reported.

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