A casual morning at the mall today turned into a siege of terror for unsuspecting shoppers in Nairobi, Kenya, when attackers dressed in black and wearing facemasks and vests loaded with grenades sprayed the unsuspecting crowds with bullets from AK-47s.
"They just came in and threw a grenade. We were running and they opened fire. They were shouting and firing," said Jay Patel who was on an upper floor of the mall when the shooting began.
Frightened shoppers fled the mall crying and clutching their small children. At one point mall guards used shopping carts to wheel out wounded children.
The gunmen were still holed up in the mall late this evening, along with an unknown number of hostages.Two Kenyan army special forces units moved inside as the stand-off stretched into its ninth hour, while police and military surrounded the huge shopping complex.
Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, speaking in a nationally televised address today, said that at least 68 people were killed and at least 175 others were injured in the terror attack.
"The despicable perpetrators of this cowardly act hope to intimidate, divide and cause despondency amongst Kenyans," Kenyatta said. "We have overcome terrorist attacks before. In fact we have fought courageously and defeated them within and outside our borders. We will defeat them again."