World Bulletin / News Desk
In an interview with Al-Jazeera’s Hamza Mohamed, the spokesman for al-Shabab has said that Saturday’s attack on the Westgate shopping center in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi was carried out to defend ‘the rights of the Somali people’.
Responsibility for the attack which left 62 people dead and over 150 people injured was claimed by al-Shabab, an organization in Somalia believed to be linked to al-Qaeda. The attack has been described as a retaliation against Kenya for sending their troops into Somalia to fight al-Shabab insurgents since 2011.
Sheikh Abdulaziz Abu Muscab went on to refer to Kenya as ‘the enemy of the Somali people’, and vowed that if Kenya did not withdraw its forces from Somalia, similar attacks would become an everyday occurrence in the country.
When asked why the shopping center was targeted, he replied: ‘It is a place where tourists from across the world come to shop, where diplomats gather. It is a place where Kenya's decision-makers go to relax and enjoy themselves. Westgate is a place where there are Jewish and American shops.’ However, at the same time he denied the intentional targeting and murder of civilians. ‘There were Kenyan soldiers firing back at our fighters. There was an exchange of gunfire. There is no evidence it was our bullets that killed them,’ he said.
Sheikh Abdulaziz Abu Muscab neither confirmed nor denied the allegation, simply stating that the members of the group were their Muslim brothers.
Abu Muscab also complained of the massacre of innocent Somali refugees in the Gedo and Jubba regions, who were bombed by Kenyan forces.Last Mod: 24 Eylül 2013, 15:25