Kenyan lawmakers blame lapses in security for mall siege

Dec. 13, 2013 at 3:46 PM   |   0 comments

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Lawmakers in Kenya say lapses by government security agencies are to blame for the siege at an upscale mall in Nairobi, during which 67 people were killed.

In a report completed Dec. 4, a parliamentary committee said corrupt police officers may have abetted militants from the Somali Islamist group al-Shabaab into Kenya, ahead of the four-day siege at the Westgate mall in September, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"Corruption among the security agencies is endemic along the border points," the report said.

The committee also said that Kenyan authorities received at least two intelligence reports of an impending attack in the months leading up to the incident at the Westgate mall.

One of such tips came in a Kenyan government intelligence report prepared last year that warned of a possible attack on the mall by al-Shabaab. Another came from Gideon Mbuvi Mike Sonko, a lawmaker who represents Nairobi in the 67-seat senate.

Meanwhile, many Kenyans say they are frustrated with the progress of the investigation into the massacre.

"They are trying to hide the truth from us," said Kevin Ambaka, a 57-year-old driver for a grocery store. "They got information earlier, and they didn't act on this information, and that resulted in this mess. We demand more efficiency, and the truth, from the government."

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