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Why? Why? Why?’ Man Asks, Stabbing U.S. Embassy Guard in Kenya

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http://www.hiiraan.com/images/logo/NYTimes.jpg
Friday, October 28, 2016
By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN


American security officers inspected the body of an attacker after he was shot by the Kenyan police outside the American Embassy compound on Thursday in Nairobi. Credit Herman Kariuki/Reuters
NAIROBI, Kenya — The shots rang out in front of the American Embassy on Thursday afternoon.
Boosh! Boosh!
A knife-wielding assailant attacked an armed Kenyan police officer guarding an entrance to the embassy’s visa section, which was closed at the time.
Kenya’s capital is hardly known as the safest city in the region, but this attack was happening outside one of the most heavily fortified buildings in East Africa, on a congested street, with diplomatic cars stuck in traffic right nearby.
Witnesses said the assailant had walked up to the officer, pulled out a knife and began shouting: “Why? Why? Why?” He stabbed the officer in the face, and the officer struggled to push him away. One witness said the men tumbled, with the assailant landing on top of the officer.

The officer, a member of the General Services Unit, a paramilitary branch of the Kenyan police entrusted with guarding embassies and other important installations in Kenya, was carrying an assault rifle. He jerked up his weapon and at least four shots were fired: Boosh! Boosh! Boosh! Boosh!
People jumped behind cars. Others hit the pavement. Some motorists driving past the scene ducked behind their steering wheels.
Other police officers sprinted from different directions, their own Kalashnikovs cocked. When the embassy’s alarm klaxons started wailing, American diplomats crawled under desks and tables.
“Duck and cover!” a loudspeaker blared out. “Get away from the windows!”
The assailant, later identified as a 24-year-old man from northeastern Kenya, was shot several times. He was lying motionless on the sidewalk, bleeding profusely when, a witness said, one of the police officers stood over him and shot him once at point blank range in the head.
The assailant’s body lay sprawled on the sidewalk, eyes open, a gaping wound in the top of his head. Onlookers covered their mouths.
“This was a suicide mission,” said Boniface Wanyama, a private security guard at an office complex next to the embassy. “You attack a G.S.U. officer with a knife? You do that only to kill and be killed.”
Officials at the American Embassy declined to comment, except for issuing a three-sentence statement saying no embassy personnel had been involved. Kenyan officers shooed people away from the scene and did not provide any information.
No officials or witnesses seemed to know if the assailant had been incensed at the American government or at the Kenyan officers guarding the embassy. The officer who was stabbed was bleeding heavily from several wounds on his face, but he was able to walk to a nearby hospital.
For years, the State Department has been concerned about attacks on the embassy in Nairobi, and against American citizens in Kenya. The embassy has even posted snipers on the roof. It is constantly ringed by heavily armed Kenyan police officers.
The Shabab militant group from neighboring Somalia is considered the most serious security threat in East Africa and in recent months it has been on a tear, bombing a hotel in Kenya this week and attacking African Union troops in Somalia.
Many people in the crowd that formed around the dead body on Thursday evening immediately suspected some Shabab hand in the attack.
Others shook their heads and said, no, the assailant was probably acting alone, a victim of his own outrage.


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