Website goes live to trace missing in Kenya attacks


AS NEWS filters in that two more gunmen have been killed in a fresh assault on the Nairobi shopping mall siege by government troops, an online portal has gone live to trace the missing.

Red Cross volunteers are also attempting to reunite families and are encouraging people to fill out a missing persons report, using this online form.

According to latest reports, four large blasts rocked the Westgate Mall as soldiers sought to rescue the shoppers held by al-Qaida-linked militants.

The explosions were followed by volleys of gunfire, then a thick, dark column of smoke. Military and police helicopters and one plane circled over the mall.

Kenyan authorities said they would do their utmost to save hostages’ lives, but no officials could say how many people were being held captive. Kenya’s Red Cross said the death toll has gone past 60 after nine bodies were recovered on Sunday. More than 175 people were injured, including many children.

Kenyans and foreigners were among those confirmed dead in the attack by up to 15 gunmen. They included British, French, Canadians, Indians, a Ghanaian, a South African and a Chinese woman. The UK Foreign Office said Monday it has confirmed the deaths of four British nationals.

Teams deployed

Meanwhile the British Red Cross have sent a team of two psycho-social support volunteers to accompany the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) rapid deployment team in Nairobi, Kenya.

Two Red Cross volunteers flew out of London on Sunday morning to join UK Foreign Office staff supporting Britons affected by the attack on Westgate Shopping Centre.

Simon Lewis, Head of UK Emergency Planning and Response at the British Red Cross, said: “Our psycho-social volunteers are trained to provide practical and emotional support to people caught up in emergency situations. The team will be there to give help and advice to people affected by the attack, and to offer them emotional support too.”

Words by @makiwahenry