Kenya shopping mall attack: Nairobi hostages were tortured before they were killed, says police doctor

Rumours of rapes, disfigurement and beheadings are rife in Kenya’s capital

Nairobi

A police doctor scouring Nairobi’s Westgate mall for bodies after a four-day siege by Islamist gunmen that claimed dozens of lives has said victims were tortured before they died, according to a Kenyan newspaper.

“Those are not allegations. Those are f****** truths,” the doctor, a forensics expert, told The Star newspaper. “They removed balls, eyes, ears, nose. They get your hand and sharpen it like a pencil then they tell you to write your name with the blood. They drive knives inside a child’s body. Actually, if you look at all the bodies, unless those ones that were escaping, fingers are cut by pliers, the noses are ripped by pliers.”

The information could not be independently verified, but William Pike, the British editor of The Star, said the reporters working on the story had been given similar accounts from other sources. “We have [the source] on a recording,” Mr Pike said. “He was talking very graphically, and he was very angry.”

The horrifying details of what may be the last moments of some of the hostages at the hands of terrorists from Somalia’s al-Shabaab movement come amid mounting public anger over the authorities silence about the details of the siege. Many questions remain, such as what happened to the potentially dozens of hostages still unaccounted for? What happened to the attackers? And what caused parts of Westgate to collapse in the final hours of the siege?

Police have asked for patience as they begin the painstaking work of gathering evidence and searching for bodies, with Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku warning it could take up to a week to complete the search. He has said that an “insignificant” number of bodies are still trapped.

Gunmen armed with machine guns and grenades stormed the Westgate mall on Saturday lunchtime, shooting indiscriminately, and killing at least 61 people. A further six security officers died in attempts to rout the militants. During the siege, rescuers evacuated many survivors, but reports suggested hostages were being held by militants. Kenya’s Red Cross says that 71 people are still listed as missing.

Ghoulish accounts on the fate of the hostages have circulated Nairobi and there have been claims that the military was forced to blow up part of the Westgate complex not just to bring the siege to an end, but to end the appalling suffering of hostages amid reports that hostages were raped, and others beheaded and their heads thrown out of the windows.

Mourners at the funeral of radio presenter Ruhila Adatia Sood Mourners at the funeral of radio presenter Ruhila Adatia Sood  

None of these reports could be verified amid what is a febrile atmosphere in the city following the worst terrorist attack on Kenyan soil since the US embassy bombings by Al-Qa’ida in 1998 that killed more than 200.

Allegations of rape are not commonly linked with Islamist militants, although there are increasing numbers of rape cases reported in Somalia after long years of conflict.

Meanwhile, Kenyan authorities are also facing questions over whether they had any intelligence on an impending attack, which a Somali al-Shabaab chief said was a “message to Westerners” who had “backed Kenya’s invasion [of Somalia],” a reference to Kenya’s 2011 incursion aimed at crushing the militant movement.

Kenya’s National Intelligence Agency (NIS), widely accused by politicians of failing to pick up chatter about the attack, has insisted it did warn the police and officials inside the President’s office before the Westgate siege, but its warnings went unheeded, The Star reported.

According to the same report, a pregnant policewoman avoided Westgate after her brother, who works for Kenyan intelligence, warned her of a terror attack. “She has told police that her brother who is a NIS officer warned her not to visit Westgate that Saturday because she would not be able to run,” a senior officer was quoted as saying.

Sport
The sun rises over St Andrews golf course, but will it be a new dawn for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club?
sportAnd it's Yes to women (at the R&A)
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer your expertise as Trustee for The Society of Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...

Email Designer

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Psychology Teacher

£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...

Food Technology Teacher

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week