Victims named as 21 people killed in militant attack on Nairobi hotel

  • Video report by ITV News Africa Correspondent John Ray

The death toll from a militant attack on a luxury hotel in Nairobi has climbed to 21.

Police say five attackers were killed and two people have been arrested on suspicion of facilitating the terrorist attack.

Kenyan authorities say there are no longer any cases of missing people.

In a televised address to the nation on Wednesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that the all-night operation by security forces to retake the complex was over and that all of the extremists had been killed.

"We will seek out every person that was involved in the funding, planning and execution of this heinous act," he vowed.

  • Who are the victims?

Luke Potter, Africa Programmes Director for the charity Gatsby, was killed in the attack. Credit: Gatsby

Details are still emerging of the victims of the attack but a British man named as Luke Potter was among the dead.

The international charity Gatsby confirmed his identity with the Foreign Office saying he is a British/South African dual national.

The charity's website includes a profile written by Mr Potter who oversaw "forestry programmes in Tanzania and Kenya."

"I strongly believe in the need for societies to offer as equal an opportunity as possible to all", he wrote.

"Outside work, I love water-sports, camping and hiking and am always keen to talk about adventures outside the city."

The Foreign Office has confirmed they are "also supporting a British person who was wounded during the attack and is receiving medical attention."

An American identified as Jason Spindler was killed in the attack.

He worked with international companies to form business partnerships in Kenya that would boost local economies.

Mr Spindler had been a victim of the 9/11 terror attacks in New York.

He was employed by a financial firm at the World Trade Centre but running late that morning and emerged from the subway when the first tower fell.

He became covered in dust and debris as he tried to help others.

In a tribute paid by his brother on Facebook, he said, "Jason was a survivor of 9/11 and a fighter. I am sure he gave them hell.”

A keen footballer James Oduor died on the eve of his birthday.

He had tweeted about being trapped inside the hotel while the attack happened.

Tributes have flooded in on a website created in his memory.

Loving tributes have been made in memory of James Oduor. Credit: Jack Oguda/

"Man of the People. Football addict. A friend. I can't believe you are gone. Rest in peace brother", wrote Felix Feliski.

"I am forever grateful for the way you kept a jovial spirit, a passionate man and one who loved all with zero prejudice.

"Rest easy and entertain heavenly folks. Will miss you dearly bro. One love", wrote William Nganga.

Prime Minister Theresa May addressed the House of Commons on Wednesday saying: "We stand in solidarity with the government and people of Kenya."

"We will continue to offer our support to meet the challenge of security and stability that is posed by terrorism in the region."

Mr Kenyatta said more than 700 people were evacuated during the security operation and he urged Kenyans to “go back to work without fear”, saying the East African country is safe for citizens and visitors.

Hours before he spoke on Wednesday, sporadic gunfire could be heard from the scene after scores of people were rescued at daybreak during what police called a mopping-up exercise.

The attack involved at least four armed men who invaded the hotel and shops.

Al-Shabab – the Somalia-based extremist group that is allied to al Qaida – claimed responsibility for the carnage at the DusitD2 complex, which includes bars, restaurants, offices and banks.

It is situated in Nairobi’s well-to-do Westlands neighbourhood, popular with many foreign expatriates.

Al-Shabab carried out the 2013 attack at the nearby Westgate Mall in Nairobi that killed 67 people.

Early on Wednesday, Kenya’s interior ministry said in a tweet that all buildings had been secured and there was no further threat.

Security forces help civilians flee. Credit: AP

However, at dawn, another explosion and gunfire was heard.

Kenya’s Citizen TV aired security camera footage that showed at least four heavily armed men in dark-coloured, paramilitary-style gear.

Kenya’s national police chief, Joseph Boinnet, said the coordinated assault began with an explosion that targeted three vehicles outside a bank, and a suicide bombing in the hotel lobby that severely wounded a number of guests.

Kenyan hospitals appealed for blood donations even as the number of wounded remained unclear.

The attack took place in the upmarket Westlands area Credit: AP

Video footage from inside the hotel showed Kenyan security officers searching the building and workers emerging from hiding while gunfire could still be heard. Some climbed out a window by ladder.

One man got up from the floor where he appeared to be trying to hide under a piece of wooden panelling.

Like the attack at the Westgate Mall, this one appeared aimed at wealthy Kenyans and foreigners. It came a day after a magistrate ruled that three men must stand trial in connection with the Westgate Mall siege.

Al-Shabab has vowed retribution against Kenya for sending troops to Somalia to fight it since 2011.

Tuesday’s violence came three years to the day after al-Shabab extremists attacked a Kenyan military base in Somalia, killing scores of people.

Hospitals have appealed for blood donations Credit: AP

The group has killed hundreds of people in Kenya. In the deadliest attack, al-Shabab claimed responsibility for an assault on Kenya’s Garissa University in 2015 that killed 147 people, mostly students.

The latest carnage demonstrated al-Shabab’s continued ability to carry out spectacular acts of bloodshed despite a dramatic increase in US air strikes against it under President Donald Trump.