Civilians fleeing the scene of the upmarket hotel complex. Picture: Ben Curtis/AP Photo.

Travellers to the Kenyan capital Nairobi are still reeling from the attack by a terrorist group at an upmarket hotel complex that is believed to have claimed the life of 15 people.

The US State Department has confirmed that one of the deceased was an American. Terrorist group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack. 

The attack on the Riverside Drive Complex, which includes the DusitD2 Nairobi Hotel, Spa, restaurants and businesses, comes six years after the militant group attacked Westgate Mall and 67 people were killed.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned the attack this morning. He said: “South Africa condemns in the strongest possible terms the attacks on the government and the people of Kenya. South Africa extends its condolences to the bereaved and wishes those injured a speedy recovery”

The statement stated "At this stage, no South African citizen has been reported injured in the attack."

However, President Ramaphosa said the South African High Commission in Nairobi is monitoring the situation and interacting with authorities.

According to DPA, the attack began at 3pm on Tuesday with a suicide bombing at the DustD2 hotel foyer and an attack on a bank located in the complex, which also features shops and restaurants.

The 101 roomed 5-star hotel was recently awarded The Best Luxury Business Hotel 2018 in East Africa at the World Luxury Hotel awards. 

The target was a conference organised and to be attended by Americans, authorities told DPA.
Kenyan authorities said early Wednesday that "all buildings and surrounding area" were secured after the gunmen holed up for hours in the building in a stand-off with police. 

The incident was characterised as a "suspected terrorist attack" by police chief Joseph Boinnet, who said people had suffered "severe injuries."
The United States embassy in Kenya issued a security alert for its citizens, advising them to stay away from the area.