Nairobi – Militant group Al Shabaab has accused Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta’s government of using chemical agents to kill 140 hostages its fighters were holding at gunpoint at Westgate mall for four days.
“HSM confirms that the Kenyan govt employed chemical agents to end the siege at #Westgate Mall, killing all the hostages in the process,” said the Harakat al-Shabaab al Mujahideen or HSM, in a series of tweets. “UKenyatta and his government are to be held culpable for #Westgate and for the lives of the 137 hostages who were being held by the Mujahideen.”
Al Shabaab said the indiscriminate killing of everyone in the mall was “morally reprehensible”.
Al Shabaab said Kenyatta’s troops demolished part of the Westgate building to hide evidence of the alleged chemical attack.
Africa Rights condemned the use of force by Kenyatta to end the siege.
“By deliberately murdering all hostages and their captors so callously, Kenyatta’s government has sunk to the same level as the criminals,” Africa Rights Muluri Njoroge said. “We are calling on the Kenyan government to immediately give access to independent forensic experts to verify these very serious claims.”
Sources here said Kenyatta had misled the public by implying that the 11 people he claimed were in custody had been apprehended at Westgate during the army’s “shambolic” operation.
“Most of the eleven were just bystanders. Some were nowhere near Westgate, but Kenyatta has already convicted them and told the world ‘these are the terrorists’. What kind of justice can they expect?” said Njoroge.