Kenyan Soldiers Who Responded to Terror Attack at Nairobi Mall Looted Stores, Owners Say

Jewelry, Swiss watches, iPads, laptops and cash from the registers all stolen by Kenyan government troops who locked down the entire mall during and after the siege and didn't allow anyone to enter for days.


NBC Reported:
Some store owners at the upscale Kenya shopping mall attacked by terrorists said soldiers sent in to end the four-day siege made off with valuable electronics, jewelry and cash.

On Monday, as shop keepers were allowed back into their stores to catalog damage from the bloody attack that killed 67 people, the interior ministry confirmed that three shores had reported looting. Other store owners said their goods were left untouched.

The Kenyan government said it was taking the allegations seriously, asserting that it had acted to protect the stock at the mall, a shopping center that catered to prosperous Kenyans as well as foreigners. The mall complex sold such items as iPads, Swiss watches and expensive jewelry, Reuters reported.

Store owners and many other Kenyans on Monday focused their anger for the apparent looting at government troops — who made up the bulk of the security forces hunting down the 10-15 gunmen — because they had locked down the complex during the siege, so no on else was allowed to enter.

"The whole place has been done over," Tariq Harunani, an optician who was let into the mall late on Sunday told Reuters. He said dozens of pairs of sunglasses and frames were stolen from his store.

"The watch counters have been cleared, the jewelry shop is empty, there's no jewelry on the necklace stands," Harunani said. Harunani’s brother Yasser, also interviewed by a Reuters reporter, appeared to assign blame directly on the troops. "We know who's done it but what can we do? They ransacked it. The military secured the place and in that time the place is emptied,” Yasser Harunani said. "This is Kenya. Let's just face it, what's lost is lost."

Other shop owners echoed the brothers’ sentiments. Paku Tsavani, who owned a bookstore at the mall, said he had lost laptop computers and cash, though books were left in their place.