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Gunmen Launch Deadly Onslaught in Nairobi Shopping Mall

Shooters unidentified; Kenya Red Cross reports local hospitals overwhelmed by numbers of dead and wounded

- Common Dreams staff

Civilians escape an area at the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya September 21, 2013 (Photo: Reuters / Siegfried Modola)Unidentified gunmen opened fire at an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, killing at least 30 people and wounding dozens.

Reuters reports

Shooting continued hours after the initial assault as troops surrounded the Westgate mall and police and soldiers combed the building, hunting down the attackers shop by shop. A police officer inside the building said the gunmen were barricaded inside the Nakumatt supermarket, one of Kenya's biggest chains.

Some Kenyan television stations are reporting that hostages have been taken, but these reports are not verified, according to Reuters.

Kenya Red Cross reports that local hospitals are overwhelmed at the numbers killed and injured:

Al Jazeera reports

While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, Kenya — which sent troops into Somalia in late 2011 to pursue al-Qaeda-linked fighters — has suffered a string of retaliatory gun and grenade attacks claimed by the armed group al-Shabaab.

To follow updates as the situation unfolds, view the following Twitter profile.