The stand-off in Kenya seems to be winding down, as a spokesman for the military reported a successful rescue operation that freed most of the hostages.
But the reported number of people killed in the terrorist attack in Nairobi, Kenya doubled in 24 hours to 68 on Sunday, while there were more than 170 reportedly wounded. Among them, at least five Americans, one of whom has a Bay Area tie.
Elaine Dang, 26, graduated from University of California, Berkeley in 2009 before joining Teach for America. She most recently headed to Nairobi, now the general manager at EatOut Kenya, an online restaurant guide.
Dang tweeted a picture of herself and two friends, showing her head bandaged, with the caption, “Proof that I am OK - hanging out with some of my best friends in Nairobi.”
EatOut Kenya tweeted at NBC Bay Area, “she is absolutely fine and recovering well.”
A company representative also posted on Facebook, “Members of our team who were at the mall are all stable and being looked after. We have lost friends today and pray for the hostage situation to end.”
On Sunday, survivors of the attack were speaking out about living the unimaginable –listening for the gunfire and running for cover.
“You could hear, while we were back there, them methodically kind of going from store to store, talking to people, and asking questions, shooting, screams,” described Bendita Malakia. “Then it would stop for awhile, and they would go to another store.”
The grief overtook people in Nairobi, some people collapsing at the gates of a local mortuary.
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“I don’t know what I can say, because I have lost my friend,” said Wellington Shanzu, a former mall employee.
Meantime, political leaders made it clear they will fight back.
“The cowardly perpetrators now cornered in the building, we will punish the masterminds swiftly and indeed very painfully,” said Uhuru Kenyatta, the president of Kenya.
The governments of Australia, Canada, France and Britain were some that confirmed the deaths of their own citizens.
“It is an absolutely sickening and despicable attack of appalling brutality,” said David Cameron, the British Prime Minister. “What we know is that three British nationals have been killed. Because the situation is ongoing we should prepare ourselves for further bad news."
Al-Shabaab, a militant Islamist group, claimed responsibility for the attack. The group has threatened retaliation for Kenya’s role in fighting insurgents in Somalia, a neighboring country.
U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, condemned the attacks.
“It represents the seriousness and breadth of the challenge we face with ruthless and completely reckless terrorists," Kerry said. "We will pursue them.”