Two Kenyans Report Being Rescued by ‘Israeli Security Officer’ in Nairobi Mall
Two Kenyans who survived and escaped the terror attack at the partially Israeli-owned Westgate Mall, in Nairobi, told the Guardian they were rescued by “a man they believed was an Israeli security officer,” according to live postings on the Guardian website.
The extent of Israeli involvement in the rescue operation remained unclear on Sunday, as official sources in Jerusalem declined to comment beyond saying that Israel is advising the Kenyan government on rescue initiatives.
The Guardian’s correspondent in Nairobi said that Kenyan security forces are also receiving advice from security officials at the Israeli embassy in Nairobi, as well as from Metropolitan police anti-terror officers attached to the British embassy there.
The Guardian wrote that an AFP report of Israeli forces in the building may have been based on the comments from the two rescued Kenyans, as it remained unclear if the Israelis were security personnel attached to the mall, or forces brought in from outside. AFP reported earlier Sunday that, “The Israelis have just entered and they are rescuing the hostages and the injured.”
Reuters had quoted Israeli government sources as saying, “There are Israeli advisers helping with the negotiating strategy, but no Israelis involved in any imminent storming operation.”