Kenya mall siege 'over' but death toll unclear
Updated: 2013-09-25 11:01
Shabaab resurgent?Regional intelligence experts believe the Nairobi raiders were members of a crack unit loyal to leader Ahmed Godane, who has been seeking to rebrand al Shabaab as a significant international jihadist group.
Al Shabaab had threatened revenge since Kenyan troops joined the war against Islamists in its chaotic northern neighbour two years ago. The group created funding, recruiting and training networks in Kenya. Kenyatta dismissed an al Shabaab demand to pull Kenyan troops from Somalia after the mall siege began.
The attack bears out Western concern that Somalia, a hotspot in the US-led war on Islamist militants across the globe, may be a launchpad for strikes on regional countries even as African troops put them on the defensive in the Horn of Africa state.
Obama, whose father was Kenyan, said he believed the country - scene of one of al Qaeda's first big attacks, in 1998, when a bomb devastated the US embassy in Nairobi - would continue to be a regional pillar of stability.
Somalia's prime minister appealed in Geneva for international support to combat al Shabaab, but said a military solution to their insurgency alone was not enough.
Abdi Farah Shirdon said: "We still have a difficult journey ahead of us. A military solution alone is not enough, promotion of rule of law, greater regional cooperation and economic stability and provision of public services are all key factors."