New Nairobi mall attack security camera footage from last month allegedly shows Kenyan soldiers looting evacuated stores. Several CCTV tapes show men dressed in military fatigues going into a Westgate mall shop and leaving with store merchandise. In one, soldiers are seen casually walking out, gun in one hand and plastic shopping bag in the other.
Outrage has spread across Kenya after the public release of the tapes on Sunday, reports Reuters. One of the videos appears to show Kenyan soldiers helping themselves to cellular upgrades in a phone store. Another tape shows soldiers looting a supermarket.
The callous nature of the soldiers’ looting is underlined by an unmistakable blood splatter in the entrance of one store, which they stroll over as they enter to grab some merchandise. The blood stain came from a man executed by a militant at gunpoint. This incident also captured by the security camera during the Nairobi mall attack.
The footage was taken during the four-day Nairobi mall attack while hostages were still being held at gunpoint. The Westgate mall siege claimed at least 67 lives after armed al Shabaab gunmen set upon unsuspecting shoppers with bullets and grenades. The group has taken responsibility for the terrorist attack. The massacre, they say, is retaliation for Kenya’s military involvement in Somalia. Al Shabaab have recently become affiliated with al Qaeda while promising further attacks.
The CCTV tapes match up with claims from shop owners who reported many items missing from their inventories after the end of the Nairobi mall attack, according to Washington Post. Sources say that mobile phones were missing from displays and registers were emptied of cash. Apparently looters took a great deal of alcohol, too.
Kenyan military officials have denied any wrongdoing by their forces during the four-day siege. However, as Washington Post points out, Kenya’s public servants are not well paid. They also often face charges of corruption. In one case it was found that first responders to a major fire at an airport in Nairobi in August were helping themselves to electronics and a bank’s money. They had also broken into an ATM.
Details about the Nairobi mall attack continue to evolve as officials debate the attackers’ identities. Rescue teams are still digging through rubble to find bodies. A new body was pulled out on Sunday. Officials say the body belonged to one of the attackers.
Officials in Kenya say they intend to recover the bodies of all victims from the assault. They also hope that using footage and DNA evidence to identify dead al Shabaab terrorists will lead them to other members of the group who participated in and planned the Nairobi mall attack in September.
[Image via Anne Knight / Wikimedia Commons]