Gunmen attack hotel complex in Nairobi, killing at least 5

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Gunmen have attacked the 14 Riverside complex in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, killing at least 5 people and injuring others, officials and witnesses say. Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility.

The attack began at about 3:15 p.m. local time on Tuesday when a group of gunmen arrived in 1 or 2 vehicles at 14 Riverside, which is home to the Dusit Hotel, restaurants, and other businesses.

Heavy gunfire erupted and scores of people were seen fleeing the complex. Loud explosions were also heard and two vehicles were on fire outside one of the buildings.

“Security and emergency forces immediately responded to the incident and have cordoned off the area,” said Police Inspector General Joseph Boinnet. “We are aware that armed criminals are holding up in the hotel and specialist forces are now currently flushing them out.”

Several floors of the hotel were cleared by Tuesday evening but the scene remained active and sporadic gunfire was heard. Police confirmed that at least 5 people were killed and the death toll is expected to rise.

The al-Qaeda-linked militant group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack. Al-Shabaab is seeking to take control of Somalia to impose a strict interpretation of Sharia law.

In September 2013, Al-Shabaab gunmen stormed the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, opening fire with assault rifles and throwing grenades at terrified shoppers. A number of people were taken hostage, leading to a four-day siege. Nearly 70 people were killed.

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