NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 15 – An incident believed to be a terror attack occurred in Nairobi Tuesday afternoon, targeting one of the most secure locations in the capital.
Witnesses reported a huge blast that was followed by heavy gunfire within the Dusit Hotel complex, on 14 Riverside Drive off Chiromo Road.
“We have an incident off Chiromo Road and we are treating it very seriously because it could be anything,” Charles Owino, Police Spokesman told Capital FM News on telephone, “We have deployed all specialised units including from the anti-terrorism police unit.”
Even though Owino did not immediately confirm if it was a terror attack, the incident had all the hallmarks of terrorism, with loud blasts, vehicles on fire and heavy gunfire.
Journalists at the scene said they saw the body of one person killed in the attack.
Heavily armed police officers, were seen running into the building where attackers were believed to have been holed up.
Several people were rescued with more said to have been holed up in the hotel, banks and offices at the complex.
Hundreds of students from the University of Nairobi were also ordered out of their hostels located on Chiromo Road, just adjacent to the scene of the attack.
By 4pm local time, military officers had joined police at the scene as other squads made their way into the complex.
Senior police officers including the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti were also the scene where they were seen barking orders.
Curiously, the attack occurred exactly three years since the January 15 attack on Kenya Defence Forces soldiers in El Adde, Somalia, where more than 150 soldiers were killed.