Kenya attack: Nine arrests over bloody DusitD2 hotel siege

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Media caption, Nairobi Dusit hotel attack: explosions, gunfire and rescue operation

Nine people have been arrested in Kenya following an attack on a luxury hotel compound in the capital Nairobi that killed at least 21 people.

All five militants who stormed the DusitD2 hotel and business complex on Tuesday have been killed, officials say, and a major hunt is under way to find those who helped organise it.

Somalia-based Islamist group al-Shabab says it was behind the attack.

Kenya's Red Cross says everyone who was missing has now been accounted for.

What do we know about the attackers?

Kenyan media reports that the wife of one of the suspected attackers has been arrested in Kiambu county, just north of Nairobi.

Police said they had identified Ali Salim Gichunge, also known as Farouk, through the car used in the attack.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption, Police stand guard outside the home of one of the suspected attackers, in Kiambu County

Neighbours told The Standard newspaper that he and his wife had moved in to their home in October. The couple were secretive, they said, and had put the contents of their home up for sale before the attack, saying they were "moving out of Nairobi this week".

Image source, Reuters
Image caption, The attackers, two of which are shown here, were caught on CCTV as they entered the complex

President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Tuesday that five jihadis carried out the attack, and all were "eliminated" by security forces after a 19-hour siege.

A White House National Security Council spokesman responded by saying: "This senseless act is a stark reminder of why the United States remains resolved in our fight to defeat radical Islamist terrorism."

Who are the victims?

Details of those who lost their lives have gradually emerged, and funerals have been held as mourners bury their loved ones.

A policeman who rushed to the scene was revealed to be among the dead as the death toll rose on Wednesday.

Another victim, Kenyan James Oduor, had tweeted about the attack as it unfolded. The LG Electronics worker, who died on the eve of his birthday, was well-liked and known for his love of football.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Two Kenyan friends, Abdalla Dahir and Feisal Ahmed, were having lunch together in the grounds of the hotel when the suicide bomber struck, Reuters news agency reports. Friends described the pair as inseparable.

In an interview with US broadcaster NBC, Sarah Spindler said her son had been trying to "make a positive change in the third world in emerging markets".

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British citizen Luke Potter, who held dual South African nationality, was also killed. He worked for the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, which runs programmes in Africa aiming to create jobs and raise incomes.

Another staff member was injured. The foundation told the BBC they are "receiving medical support in Nairobi and are expected to make a full recovery".

Hundreds of people have flocked to donate blood, in the hope of helping the wounded.

"I do it out of solidarity, because what happened is terrible," said donor Rosemary Gathogo. "I know I will save a life because of this."

Image source, AFP
Image caption, A burial ceremony has been held for friends Abdalla Dahir and Feisal Ahmed

How did the attack unfold?

The attack began at about 15:00 local time (12:00 GMT) on Tuesday. The gunmen threw bombs at vehicles in the car park before entering the lobby, where one blew himself up, police say.

Security camera footage showed at least four heavily armed men walking in and opening fire. There are reports they had been seen visiting the compound in recent days.

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At 23:00, a government official said that all the buildings in the complex had been secured by security forces. But gunfire and sporadic explosions were reported just an hour later, and there was more heavy gunfire at about 07:00 on Wednesday.

Security forces then combed their way through the building where frightened workers had barricaded themselves inside, hiding in offices, toilets and even under tables.

Nairobi's DusitD2 hotel

The five-star DusitD2 hotel has 101 rooms. Located in the Westlands suburb, minutes from the capital's business district, it has its own spa and several restaurants.

In all, some 700 people were evacuated from the complex, officials said. Twenty-eight people were admitted to hospital with injuries.

Image source, EPA
Image caption, Many civilians were trapped in the complex for several hours

Some of those killed had been dining in the Secret Garden restaurant. Other bodies were found on the third floor of the 101 room hotel.

Who are al-Shabab?

They oppose the Somali government, but have carried out attacks throughout East Africa.

During an 80-hour siege at the upscale centre, 67 people were killed.

Two years later, the group carried out its deadliest ever assault in Kenya, shooting dead almost 150 people at Garissa University.

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