The Latest: Father of American killed in Kenya speaks out

5 years 1 month 1 week ago Wednesday, January 16 2019 Jan 16, 2019 January 16, 2019 8:49 AM January 16, 2019 in News - AP Texas Headlines

By The Associated Press

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - The Latest on the extremist attack on a hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya (all times local):

5:45 p.m.

The father of the American killed in the attack in Kenya's capital says his son worked in the complex and often ate at a cafe in the luxury hotel targeted by the gunmen.

Jason Spindler's father, Joseph, says his son grew up in Houston, graduated from the University of Texas and was enjoying a successful career on Wall Street when he decided that he wanted to develop a model for helping low-income people.

Jason Spindler entered the Peace Corps and lived in Peru, where he developed sustainable business models for rural residents.

Spindler, who would have turned 41 next Tuesday, later became a founder of I-DEV International and had been living in Kenya for about five years.

His father says he worked with international companies to form business partnerships in Kenya that would boost local economies.

4:55 p.m.

A group of Muslim leaders in Kenya's capital have condemned the deadly hotel attack by Islamic extremists, calling it "immoral and inconsistent with any human values."

In a statement, the leaders urge Kenyans to stay calm and united and to "shun the desperate attempts by some misguided elements to divide the country along religious and ethnic lines."

Kenya's president says security forces killed the gunmen who attacked a luxury hotel and shopping complex in Nairobi on Tuesday. President Uhuru Kenyatta says 14 "innocent people" were killed.

Al-Shabab - the Somalia-based extremist group linked to al-Qaida - claimed responsibility for the carnage.

3:45 p.m.

One hospital in Kenya's capital says it has seen mostly gunshot wounds among the casualties from Tuesday's attack on a Nairobi hotel complex.

Dr. Vishal Patel, medical director at M.P. Shah Hospital, says they received seven wounded people and two of them died. The rest needed emergency surgery.

The doctor says that "our condolences go out to the families who have lost their loved ones due to this horrific attack."

Kenyan authorities have not released a number of wounded but said 14 people were killed.

3:35 p.m.

A new blast has been heard at a hotel complex in Kenya's capital, 24 hours after several extremists attacked.

Witnesses say security forces are conducting a painstaking sweep for any explosives in the Nairobi complex of half a dozen buildings. Emergency responders near the scene appear unperturbed.

Kenya's president has said "all the terrorists have been eliminated" in the attack that authorities say killed 14 people. Some 700 people were evacuated in the overnight security operation.

3:25 p.m.

San Francisco-based company I-DEV International confirms that American Jason Spindler was killed in the extremist attack in Kenya's capital.

Spindler was the co-founder and managing director of I-DEV. The company says in an email that nine others in its Nairobi office were safely evacuated.

Kenyan authorities have said 14 people were killed in the attack. The al-Shabab extremist group has claimed responsibility.

2:40 p.m.

The London-based company Adam Smith International says two employees were shot to death in a cafe during the hotel attack in Kenya's capital.

A statement says Abdalla Dahir and Feisal Ahmed were killed on the terrace of a restaurant in the complex where the company has Nairobi offices. The company says some 50 staff and consultants were safely evacuated.

The statement says both had been working on the Somalia Stability Fund managed by the company to "bring peace and prosperity to Somalia through more than 100 local community initiatives."

Kenyan authorities have said 14 people were killed in Tuesday's attack.

1:35 p.m.

Kenyan police say they have detained a man and two women following a raid on a house where one of the Nairobi attackers was said to live.

A police official tells The Associated Press they are being questioned "to establish how they knew the man who lived here and the people who had been visiting."

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

He said police carried out the raid after neighbors called saying they had identified a vehicle that had been parked outside the hotel complex during the Tuesday attack.

1:15 p.m.

The British high commissioner in Kenya says at least one British national has been killed in the hotel attack in Nairobi.

High Commissioner Nic Hailey made the announcement in a post on Twitter, saying that "we are providing support to his family and friends at this very difficult time.

The high commissioner urges people to avoid the hotel area as the security operation is "still ongoing" on Wednesday.

The United States has said an American also was among the 14 reported dead in Tuesday's attack.

12:45 p.m.

Friends and relatives of some of those killed in the Islamic extremist attack in Kenya's capital have gathered at Nairobi's mortuary to make arrangements for burial.

Mohamed Yasin Jama lost two work colleagues. He said he saw a photo circulating on a WhatsApp group that identified one of his colleagues but didn't want to speculate until he saw the bodies of both workers at the mortuary late Tuesday.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta says security forces have killed the al-Shabab gunmen whose assault on a luxury hotel and shopping complex took 14 "innocent lives" and that the East African country is safe.

12:30 p.m.

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga says "divisions are what terrorists thrive on" and is appealing for unity following the deadly attack on a hotel and shopping complex in Nairobi.

Odinga, who lost to President Uhuru Kenyatta in a bitterly disputed election in 2017, said Wednesday that the Islamic extremist gunmen did not care about the ethnic, religious or political affiliation of their victims.

"Their mission was to cause pain and fear and they proceeded to do so without seeking details," Odinga said.

Al-Shabab, the Somalia-based extremist group, claimed responsibility for the carnage at the DusitD2 hotel complex.

11:19 a.m.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta says authorities will "pursue relentlessly" those allegedly involved in the funding, planning and execution of Tuesday's attack on a hotel complex in the capital.

Kenyatta said in a televised address Wednesday that "multiple security efforts are underway to detect, deter, disrupt and defeat any terrorist operative or group."

He said over 700 people have been evacuated to safety by rescue teams.

Al-Shabab - the Somalia-based Islamic extremist group that is allied to al-Qaida - claimed responsibility for the carnage at the hotel complex, which includes bars, restaurants, offices and banks and is in Nairobi's well-to-do Westlands neighborhood.

9:52 a.m.

An injured member of the Kenyan special forces has been taken from the scene of Tuesday's attack in an ambulance.

An Associated Press journalist saw a member of the elite unit known as RECCE Squad being taken out of the hotel complex Wednesday before he was put into an ambulance.

Kenyan police said early Wednesday there was still an active security operation ongoing after they announced overnight that all buildings in the hotel complex had been secured. Sporadic gunfire still rang out through the morning.

CCTV footage owned by local media in Kenya purports to show at least four gunmen storming the hotel complex Tuesday afternoon.

At least 15 people have been killed in the attack claimed by the Somali Islamic extremist group al-Shabab.

9:40 a.m.

The Bangkok-based management of the Nairobi hotel that is part of the complex attacked by extremists Tuesday says it is "devastated" by the assault.

Dusit International, managers of the Nairobi DusitD2 hotel, says in a statement Wednesday it is "in constant contact with the authorities and would like to thank them for their swift response." The statement said the hotel is closed and guests and those with reservations have been found accommodation in other hotels in Nairobi.

Al-Shabab - the Somalia-based extremist group that is allied to al-Qaida - claimed responsibility for the carnage at the hotel complex, which includes bars, restaurants, offices and banks and is in Nairobi's well-to-do Westlands neighborhood.

At least 15 people were killed in the attack which started Tuesday afternoon.

9:00 a.m.

Continued bursts of gunfire are heard from the hotel complex as Kenyan authorities continue to secure the scene of the attack.

8:30 a.m.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to address the nation this morning about the extremist attack on a luxury hotel and shopping complex in Nairobi.

At least 15 people were killed in the attack which started Tuesday afternoon.

Somalia's Islamic extremist rebel group, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the attack, which started with multiple suicide car bombs which breeched the security gates of the complex and then was followed by an invasion of at least four armed men.

Kenyan police say there is still "an active security operation" in and around the hotel complex attacked by Islamic extremist gunmen amid sporadic gunfire from the scene.

At least 15 people were killed in the attack which started Tuesday by suicide car bombs followed by at least four armed men who invaded the hotel and shops.

Police Wednesday urged people to stay away from the crime scene until it is declared fully safe.

Scores of people were rescued at daybreak as police continued what they called a mopping-up exercise. Gunfire has been ringing out at the scene even after authorities announced that all was secure following Tuesday's attack.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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