Kenyan police detain nine people in connection with deadly hotel attack

The off-duty SAS soldier ran back into the hotel compound several times to rescue more trapped civilians

The off-duty SAS soldier ran back into the hotel compound several times to rescue more trapped civilians Credit Reuters

Five people accused of involvement in this week's extremist attack on a Nairobi hotel complex have appeared in court, and prosecutors say there has been progress in the investigation. Police can hold suspects for 24 hours and need a court order to extend this.

He said Interpol's role is to help coordinate the worldwide investigative response in support of the Kenyan authorities as they investigate this appalling terrorist attack.

Al-Shabab also carried out the 2013 attack at Nairobi's nearby Westgate Mall that killed 67 people, and an assault on Kenya's Garissa University in 2015 that claimed 147 lives, mostly students.

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Prosecutors requested that Joel Ng'ang'a Wainaina, Oliver Kanyango Muthee, Gladys Kaari Justus, Guleid Abdihakim and Osman Ibrahim be detained for 30 days to allow the police to carry out an investigation into the bombing that took place on Tuesday in luxury hotel and office complex in the Kenyan capital.

"I have a lot of questions that need answers just like everyone else", said Gichunge's sister, who was reached by phone in Mombasa. Those close to Gichunge said they were stunned when he appeared in CCTV footage of the attack toting an assault rifle and firing at a white auto.

A police official and a private security professional who took part in rescue efforts at the complex said a man who blew himself up outside a restaurant was also believed to be a non-Somali.

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Police earlier identified a Kenyan military officer as the father of a suspect in the assault.

The attack was denounced on Friday in Eastleigh, a Nairobi neighborhood that is home to many ethnic Somalis and has been targeted in massive police operations against suspected extremist cells. "If we trust them with such establishment why not trust them with firearms?" explained Fazul Mahamud, who heads the Private Security Regulatory Authority.

Authorities plan a vetting process to expose any suspected criminals within security companies before guards are licensed to have guns.

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"Publication of photographs showing mutilated bodies, bloody incidents and abhorrent scenes shall be avoided unless the publication or broadcast of such photographs will serve the public interest".

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