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September 30, 2013

Kenyans tell minister: Westgate facts don't add up

Kenya's interior minister shares conflicting information on Westgate shopping mall attack.
Kenya's Cabinet Secretary of Interior Security Joseph Ole Lenku addresses the press outside of the president's office in Nairobi, Kenya, September 29, 2013. EPA/DANIEL IRUNGU

Kenyans on Twitter are mocking Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku over conflicting government reports in the wake of the Westgate mall attack in Nairobi. The government continues to face criticism over the lack of clear information following the attack and four-day siege, which left at least 67 dead and 175 injured.

President Uhuru Kenyatta claimed five attackers had been killed last week. But on Sunday Lenku told Kenya's Citizen TV in an interview that all five of those attackers were suspected to be buried in the rubble of the shopping mall, and that, so far, none of the suspects' bodies had been recovered.
The government initially estimated the number of attackers to be 10 to 15. When pressed in the Sunday night interview about whether some of the attackers could have escaped, Lenku responded, "It is possible that some could have slipped out". However, Kenya's The Star newspaper reported that Lenku also said no suspects could have escaped the mall. 
Commenting on Kenyan media coverage of the attack, Lenku also pointed to bloggers who were "not patriotic enough". The first part of the Citizen TV interview can be seen here: