Al-Shabab gunmen storm hotel in Nairobi killing 7

Al-Shabab gunmen storm hotel in Nairobi killing 7

Gunmen blasted their way into a hotel and office complex in the Kenyan capital on Tuesday, killing at least seven people and sending workers diving under desks from an attack claimed by Somali Islamists al Shabaab.

 Police warned the "terror attack", which echoed a 2013 assault on a Nairobi shopping centre, may be ongoing, with assailants still inside the upscale 14 Riverside Drive complex.

 Nairobi is a major expatriate hub, and the compound attacked houses offices of various international companies.

 "The main door of the hotel was blown open and there was a human arm in the street severed from the shoulder," said Serge Medic, the Swiss owner of a security company who ran to the scene to help when he heard of the attack from his taxi driver. 

Medic, who was armed, entered the building with a policeman and two soldiers, he said, but they came under fire and retreated. An unexploded grenade lay in the lobby, he said.

 Kenya has often been targeted by al Shabaab, who killed 67 people at the Westgate shopping centre in 2013 and nearly 150 students at Garissa university in 2015.

 Al Shabaab says its attacks are revenge for Kenyan troops stationed inside Somalia, which has been riven by civil war since 1991. 

 More than three hours after Tuesday's attack began, small groups of workers were still being taken out by officers escorting them to armoured vehicles.

 Foreign security advisors on the site scrambled to make sure their clients were safe.

 Kenyan police chief Joseph Boinnet said the attack began with an explosion targeting cars followed by a detonation from a suicide bomber. 

At least seven people were killed and eight wounded, hospital officials and witnesses said. 

According to its website, 14 Riverside is home to local offices of international companies including Colgate Palmolive, Reckitt Benckiser, Pernod Ricard, Dow Chemical and SAP, as well as the dusitD2 hotel, part of Thai group Dusit Thani.

 Kenya is a base for hundreds of diplomats, aid workers, businessmen and others operating around east Africa.

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