Meet Omo, the Remarkable Rare White Giraffe from Tanzania Africa

160126-white-giraffe-tanzania-613p_25727fec85b18d95994600ade228c2fe.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000 160126-white-giraffe-tanzania-wide-613p_25727fec85b18d95994600ade228c2fe.nbcnews-fp-1200-800 white-giraffe

Photo credit: Derek Lee / Caters News Agency

This amazing very rare African giraffe doesn’t have to stick her neck out to get noticed!

A 15-month-old naturally snow white giraffe called Omo is catching the eye at the Tarangire National Park in Tanzania for her pale white coat shade. A picture of her was snapped this month by the Wild Nature Institute, a North Carolina nonprofit run by a pair of wildlife biologists. Omo is leucistic, meaning many of skin cells are genetically incapable of making a pigment but some are, so she is very pale, but not pure white, with red or blue eyes as a true albino would be. Her markings are also much more faint and less distinct than normally colored giraffes.

She was last spotted around the same time in 2015.

Scientist Derek Lee told NBC News that Omo is extremely rare — only the second recording of a white giraffe in Tarangire over the past 20 years. Tanzania’s sixth-largest national park has some 3,000 of the mammals, known for their long necks and leopard-like spots.

See http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/italian-museum-covers-roman-nude-statues-during-iran-president-s-n504426

Mali West Africa: 27 Hostages Believed Dead As Gunmen Storm Raddisson Hotel

11.20.2015 9:30 am Pacific Time

Unidentified gunmen stormed into a Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako Mali, West Africa early on the morning on Nov. 20. The armed men were shouting ‘Allah Akbar’ as they entered the hotel lobby. The hotel company reported that 170 hostages were initially trapped inside. The standoff between the attackers and police forces is still ongoing.  As of this report there have been 27 known casualties, although different news reporting agencies are reporting various casualty counts. It is being reported that all hostages have been rescued from the hotel. Among them were 6 Americans. The hotel may have been targeted due to the fact that French forces use Bamako as a logistics hub for  helping fight Islamist insurgents.

Copycat Attack after the Paris Terror Event?

A group affiliated with al-Qaeda, ‘al-Mourabitou’, said its followers were behind the attack, according to the Reuters news agency, but the claim could not be independently verified. Mali has faced repeated attacks from militants linked to al-Qaeda and other factions, but the Islamic State does not have major footholds in the region.

 

 

Let the Singing and Dancing Go On! Sierra Leone, Liberia Africa Celebrate the End of Ebola: #ByeByeEbolaSong

It has officially been 42 days since any new cases of Ebola have been reported in Sierra Leone, Africa.

The courageous people of this disease ravaged nation are rightfully rejoicing, and the world should rejoice with them as well. The hideous ravages of the terrible near endless march of death which was brought by Ebola during the past two years are gradually fading, even as the people of Sierra Leone recall the depth of their suffering during the worst of it’s ascent. Below are video clips which recall the worst moments of the extended Ebola outbreak, which killed more than  28,000 people in Sierra Leone and other African nations, along with the long awaited moments of pure joy to know that the heart of the nation can finally begin to recover from one of the most serious outbreaks of deadly Ebola virus in world history. Sound the drums and sing the songs of victory over death. You are the lucky ones, whom God has smiled on. You have lived to sing the living songs of joy. Ebola is finally fading in Sierra Leone, Africa.

About the Ebola Outbreak: “Across West Africa, the death toll from Ebola rose to over 11,000 (CDC), which was heavily concentrated in three countries: Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. As of September 22, 2015, a total of 28,319 cases have been reported with 15,235 being laboratory confirmed. A quick statistical analysis will reveal that a large percentage of those who contracted Ebola survived (around thirty percent). A percentage poorly relates the psychological impact of the epidemic on affected populations and makes it difficult for observers to shift from objectively interpreting data to a sympathetically understanding the strife of the population. The scope of the virus did, however, enter the attention of the Western hemisphere with an inescapable pandemonium of panicked rumors and apocalyptic premonitions. Two US doctors were, in fact, confirmed to have contracted the virus and carried it into the country (CDC). There was a swift reaction to treat and contain the virus, which prevented its spread.”

In Liberia the Ebola crematorium has now been officially dismantled. This photo is from that ceremony.

Tags: Sierra Leone, Liberia, celebrating the end of Ebola, Sierra Leone, Ebola, Africa, viral videos end of Ebola, #ByeByeEbolaSong, Bye Bye Ebola

 

 

Are We Really Facing a Half Million Ebola Cases by 2015?

Updated on Dec 23rd 2014

This post first appeared on one of my other news blogs, American Info Maps, in October. I was asked to update it and located some alarming new numbers which I have posted below. Ebola has now fallen out of the news cycle in the USA as the Ferguson riots and related issues were given greater priority after several Americans who were ill with Ebola successfully recovered. Numbers recently published by the CDC on how the disease might progress by 2015 are disturbing. I’ll follow up in another month with new updates.

If you are wondering just exactly how this awful incurable fatal disease is so difficult to contain in the stricken epicenters where it is spreading the fastest, read this article. It explains everything and it’s not for the faint of heart.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also released projections on Tuesday, using a new modeling tool that ended up with different numbers than the predictions published in the NEJM.

They estimated that reported cases in Sierra Leone and Liberia could rise to 8,000 by the end of September. But the CDC also noted that cases seem to be vastly underreported, perhaps by a factor of 2.5. According to the new projections, the true number of cases by the end of September could — worst case scenario — rise to 21,000. 

By January 20, 2015, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could be as high as 550,000, the CDC report said. Correcting for under-reporting, the number would be vastly higher: 1.4 million cases.

This post will not be easy to digest, and it was not meant to be.It is now time to PUT THE FEAR OF GOD into persons who are still playing with fire by the continuance of certain behaviors which are known to spread he Ebola virus.

We all know by now the tragic disproportionate number of uninformed, uncaring foolish and reckless people who abound in our world, caring little that their wanton actions may create haphazard life and death situations for others. We learned all about that during the early moments of the 35 year long AIDS epidemic. We also know that many millions of uninformed or just uncaring and / or foolish people happen to live in or near GROUND ZERO regions of the Ebola virus in west Africa. Those persons must now be reached by any and all means – and impressed IMMEDIATELY with the gravity and dire consequences that their possible reckless actions may cause to those close to them, and to others, far far away. Our very inter-connectedness now threatens to spread this evil virus so quickly that public health officials around the world could easily become overwhelmed. Please, please share this post!

I found a very telling and noteworthy piece of information about Ebola in a small obscure graphic. I’d like to share that graphic FIRST in this series of maps and info-graphics. READ what it says about the spread of Ebola via semen:

“Although victims may appear healthy, they are still infectious as long as their blood and secretions contain the virus. Men who have recovered from the disease can still transmit the virus through their semen for up to 7 weeks after recovery.”

What this means is that a self-imposed period of total celibacy for at least 7 weeks after recovery from Ebola needs to be MANDATORY for all males who contracted the disease, and then recovered. Otherwise they may be spreading the virus via sexual activity, post-recovery – without knowing it. This urgently important fact needs to be broadcast globally to avoid a worldwide Ebola pandemic.

 

https://i2.wp.com/yourhealth.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/original_images/Aug2014/ebola-virus-big_0_0.jpg

 

https://i0.wp.com/www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/ebola-6-months/guinea-chart-big.png

The chart below vividly illustrates what can happen when a small outbreak of such a virulent disease like Ebola doesn’t get the massive attention to halt it’s progress very early on. No one in January of 2014 was paying enough attention to what was about to happen concerning the rapid uncontrolled spread of Ebola. Now in October of 2014, health officials are around the world are racing to establish new protocols which can hopefully halt the spread of the disease and avoid a global pandemic.

 

https://i1.wp.com/i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/07/31/1406770676826_wps_7_Ebola_world_map_jpg.jpg

https://i1.wp.com/cdn.static-economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/original-size/images/2014/10/blogs/graphic-detail/20141011_woc402.png

https://i0.wp.com/news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/77673000/gif/_77673555_ebola_detail_624_18_09.gif

https://i0.wp.com/news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/78177000/gif/_78177689_ebola_world.gif

https://i2.wp.com/www.dailystar.com.lb/dailystar/Pictures/2014/08/01/335008_img650x420_img650x420_crop.jpg

https://i2.wp.com/cdn1.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/EDQp8-ISzy35bW55a-kRaHIynBk=/cdn3.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/687694/airtaff.0.jpg

https://i2.wp.com/www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/global_ebolaoutbreakrisk_20140818-1.png

Cell phone data was used to develop this map of the migration of Ebola from region to region in south Africa:

https://i2.wp.com/www.technologyreview.com/sites/default/files/images/ebola.map_.jpg

RED ALERT for a possible global pandemic of Ebola was first detected in this computer algorithm map [ shown below ] which dates to March 2014 of this year. My advice would be NOT to wait for “official” travel advisories regarding regions of high infection, but to cancel any travel plans to those regions now. Find a way NOT to travel into Ebola infected regions if at all possible. If their computers told them a global pandemic was highly likely 6 months ago – and officials ignored those warnings, then odds are they have drastically under-estimated the possible speed at which this disease could spread, and the possible numbers of people globally who could be affected. Stay home. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

http://publichealthwatch.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/healthmap_world_8-9_new1.png?w=590&h=292

https://i2.wp.com/i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/03034/1109Ebola_3034263a.jpg

 

 

https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4a/Symptoms_of_ebola.png

I’d also like to re-post in it’s entirety another very helpful and informative post about Ebola which is located at http://www.vox.com/2014/10/1/6877617/16-charts-maps-and-photos-that-explain-the-ebola-outbreak

15 charts, maps, and photos that explain the Ebola outbreak

1. Ebola was first discovered in 1976 in Zaire (now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo).

Ebola electron micrograph 1976

An electron micrograph containing the Ebola virus taken in 1976.

2. Between 1976 and 2013, 20 Ebola outbreaks killed a total of 1,548 people.

Previous Ebola outbreak

Previous Ebola Outbreaks by relative size. Joe Posner / Vox.

3. Four strains of Ebola can infect humans. The Zaire strain is the most deadly, and is the disease spreading in this outbreak.

Deadliness of Ebola Strains

The current outbreak is the Zaire ebolavirus. Joss Fong / Vox.

4. Ebola patients have to be kept in isolation wards. One problem is that West Africa lacks enough of them.

isolation.0.jpg

Ibrahim Fambulle, barely able to stand, tries to walk to a different isolation room in an Ebola ward on August 15, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.

5. This is the worst Ebola outbreak ever.

deaths_by_outbreak_stamped.0.png

Ebola deaths by outbreak. Joss Fong/Vox.

6. It’s spread to seven countries and killed 3,091 people – nearly twice as many as all other outbreaks combined.

Ebola deaths, 2014 outbreak

7. Ebola has killed more than 200 health care workers in Africa.

453632306.0.jpg

A Sierra Leonese burial team carries the coffin of Dr Modupeh Cole, Sierra Leone’s second senior physician to die of Ebola. Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images.

8. Ebola is also spreading through unsafe burial practices in Africa.

The Tweh farm cemetery in Liberia, where burials have ben halted, September 30, 2014. Pascal Guyot / Getty Images.

The Tweh farm cemetery in Liberia, where burials have ben halted, September 30, 2014. Pascal Guyot / Getty Images.

9. The only way to catch Ebola is to have direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone who has Ebola and has begun showing symptoms.

Ebola flowchart

10. Modern public health systems can stop Ebola. West Africa’s poverty and underfunded health care system allowed it to spread.

Health workforce

11. The CDC projects as many as 1.4 million people could be infected with Ebola by January if the outbreak isn’t stopped.

CDC ebola projection

12. But Nigeria and Senegal stopped their Ebola outbreaks cold.

456081150.0.jpg

Medics carry a Nigerian patient during his transfer to another hospital in Istanbul, Turkey on September 25, 2014. Metin Pala/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.

13. A Texas hospital diagnosed the first-ever American case of Ebola on September 30.

ebola map

14. The United States has a robust health infrastructure that will near-certainly prevent the disease’s spread.

health_spending_revised.0.png

15. There is no cure, treatment or vaccine for Ebola.

Ebola vaccine testing

A possible Ebola vaccine called Chimp Adenovirus type 3 being tested in London. Steve Parsons-WPA Pool/Getty Images.

Ebola: Photos from the Front Lines

There is a reason that the Old Testament contains verses of scripture which clearly warn against the consumption of “unclean meat.” Most agree that the most likely genesis of the Ebola virus is the consumption of “bush meat” or wild meat from the African Fruit Bat, which is a known carrier of the Ebola virus. I’m not especially known to thump a bible at anyone, it being the source of much rage and hatred against gay people, and myself being a gay person, but I do study it [ my grandfather  was a Christian minister and I am a Christian myself ] and there is much refined timeless ancient wisdom in it’s pages, which if followed, would have never allowed Ebola to spread from infected fruit bats into the human population. I’m just saying: there is a sound and valid scientific reason why scripture has warned both primitive and modern human populations against the consumption of unclean meat. It spreads disease on a scale that cannot be controlled.

 

Tags: Ebola, Ebola pandemic photos, photos images Ebola in Africa, Africa Ebola photos, photo gallery Ebola Africa

USA Ebola Outbreak Coverup or “Fear Porn”? Medical Doctor Alleges Ebola Patients Are Being “Disappeared”

I found this alarming blacklisted news report tonight on Alex Jones’ http://infowars.com and found it alarming enough I thought others ought to hear it too. I have no way of knowing whether or not these news reports are just examples of  ‘panic stricken medical hearsay’ [ aka “fear porn” ] – or whether the eye-witness reports of these medical professionals which were cited by Alex are truthful and accurate. Here they are. Do your own research, but I would also suggest you share this information so that others can look into to it as well. It suddenly makes perfect sense to me why the FEDs purchased and stashed hundreds of millions of black plastic coffins in the early 2000s, along with establishing more than 800 secret FEMA camps, replete with encircled razor wire, on US soil. Suddenly that math equation of of connected dots adds up perfectly.

Anyone who finds more solid eye-witness corroboration of what’s in the video report below, please post it under “comments”  – thanks. – Leigh

Original report is here:  http://www.infowars.com/missouri-doctor-suspected-ebola-patient-witnessed-bleeding-out-of-all-orifices/

Related Links and Reports:

http://www.coasttocoastam.com/search/?query=ebola

http://beforeitsnews.com/healthcare/2014/10/ebola-patients-being-disappeared-in-america-dr-calls-in-with-shocking-news-where-are-they-putting-them-all-2459178.html

Claim: Ebola patients being ‘disappeared’ in U.S.

‘Ebola czar’ a no-show at House hearing on crisis

TAGS: hemorrhagic bleeding Ebola, Ebola medical coverup, Ebola patients disappearing, Ebola CDC, Ebola patients stopped crossing southern border, Ebola health crisis, infowars.com, Alex Jones, Ebola blacklisted news

Another Convenient Accident Silences Another Would-Be Witness RE: Obama’s Birth Origins

A few days ago I watched the now famous video from 2010 [ see below ] in which Barack Obama’s real Mombasa Kenya birth certificate is shown to the world.

It’s from the same hospital in Mombasa Kenya where Obama’s black African grandmother swore to reporters in 2009 that she stood by her daughter-in-law’s bedside and watched her give birth to Barack Obama in the main and only hospital in Mombasa Kenya. That grandmother died [ conveniently ] right before Obama was inaugurated in January 2009.

We fast forward to this week. It’s now been two-three days since the REAL telltale Mombasa Obama birth certificate Hawaii Health Department Director Loretta Fuddy. Fuddy was killed after a small plane with nine people aboard crashed into the water off Molokai on Dec. 11.showed up. Now the Hawaiian official who “signed off on” Obama’s fake Hawaii birth certificate is dead. “Small plane crash in the dead of night, which happened while another plane “circled overhead, watching and then reported the crash.” [ WHAT?]

Does this story smell really really bad to anyone else besides me?

This Obama birth story is now on it’s way to becoming one of the biggest coverups in American history, right up there with the JFK assassination. The story WILL NOT go away, nor should it, as the truth has not yet been revealed or told. But people who knew the truth keep dying.

That’s awfully convenient for the Obama presidency, terribly so.

In the last video below the ungrouped layers are revealed which were never merged before Obama’s faked long form birth certificate was presented to the world. An “ungrouped layer” is a term any Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator professional will recognize right away. I worked in the graphic arts for nearly 30 years, and during the last 15 of those years I used either Photoshop or Adobe Ilustrator daily. Had the person who created the forgery wanted to pull it off, they would have known that all independent working layers in a built document have to be “merged” first before you pull a final composite.

If I didn’t know better I would swear that the creator of the faked long form birth certificate shown in the second video left those layered pieces [ dozens of them ] un-merged with the base doc on purpose, so they could be found by other graphics professionals  – thus the truth would get out anyway.

Which would infer that whomever created this digital document, did so under duress, and if they did not agree with what they were being asked to do, and well knew that whoever was standing over their shoulder didn’t know SQUAT about how high resolution digital documents are created in layers using either Photoshop or Illustrator, then they could have cunningly built right into the faked doc itself the dead giveaway telltale signs that it was constructed of a multitude of individually scanned separate components, not an intact single scanned original.

Just in case you youngsters don’t know this, for decades, in fact for centuries now, birth certificates have always been printed on a single piece of safety paper, often with the hand print or footprint of the infant stamped on them, and with an official state and/ or hospital seal imprinted on same. They are NOT built from dozens of little individual component dates, names, signatures and so forth which are then “photoshopped onto” a scan of a blank piece of safety paper. I just wanted you to know that. But that’s exactly how Barack Obama’s so-called long form birth certificate has been created, as the second video below shows.

Once it’s merged, it’s cast in stone. A Photoshop / Illustrator document’s layer’s cannot be un-merged or un-separated into it’s component layers again once after any combination of them have been merged with another during the process of visually constructing the final doc.  It’s like chocolate milk. Once it’s blended, you can’t un-blend it.

So here is the $64,000 question: WHY did the creator of this document [ 2nd video ] leave so many of the original component telltale layers un-merged?

INSIGHT: If the creator left the individual layers “un-merged” with the base doc, then they could be found later by other graphics professional when it was loaded into their own software. Which is exactly what happened when the graphics pro in the video below loaded it into his application and began to examine it.

Terror Attack At Shopping Mall in Nairobi Kenya Leaves 68 Dead, More Than 175 Wounded, 30 Hostages Held Inside Mall

Updated on 9.22.2013

https://i1.wp.com/media2.s-nbcnews.com/j/MSNBC/Components/Slideshows/_production/ss-130921-kenya-mall-attack/ss-130921-kenya-attack-tease.photoblog600.jpg

Military, gunmen exchange gunfire
at Kenya mall as hostages hide

68 people are now confirmed dead in the Nairobi Kenya shopping mall massacre.

More than 30 people are still being held hostage inside the mall at this time. Terror group Al-Shabaab is taking responsibility for this attack, which appears to be a retaliation for Kenyan military actions taken in Somalia. Television coverage of this event is being carefully edited, as the attackers are still inside the mall with hostages and are watching live TV coverage of the attack. 3 of the attackers were born in the United States. Two are from Saint Paul Minnesota, and one if from Kansas City Missouri.

Cited from the L.A. Times news website:

“Al Shabab has sought to strike back at Kenya, which sent troops into southern Somalia in 2011 and pushed the group’s fighters out of the port city of Kismayo, once a key source of Al Shabab’s revenue. Kenya’s troops have struggled to quell the Islamists’ control over the countryside.

Al Shabab said in posts on its Twitter account that it had warned there would be consequences when Kenyan forces entered Somalia to fight the militants. The group used the hashtag #Westgate, saying it was a revenge attack.

“By land, air and sea, Kenyan forces invaded our Muslim country, killing hundreds of Muslims in the process and displacing thousands more,” Al Shabab tweeted.

It said it had told the Kenyan government on numerous occasions to withdraw its forces.

“The Kenyan government, however, turned a deaf ear to our repeated warnings and continued to massacre innocent Muslims in Somalia,” Al Shabab said. “For long we have waged war against the Kenyans in our land, now it’s time to shift the battleground and take the war to their land.”

Survivors who were interviewed right after the attack began on 9.21.2013 who had fled outside and down the street, away from the gunfire at the mall said the Somali attackers asked fleeing crowds if any of them were Muslim, and then said to the crowd that the Muslims could leave.  Many of the dead were women and children.  The attackers also used hand grenades during the attack.

Update:  Al-Shabaab tweet: No negotiations at Kenyan mall

Al-Shabaab: Ten things to know about the Somali Islamic extremist group

https://i2.wp.com/graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2013/09/21/world/africa/20130922_NAIROBI2_337-slide-OCBP/20130922_NAIROBI2_337-slide-OCBP-articleLarge.jpg

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https://i0.wp.com/resources3.news.com.au/images/2013/09/22/1226724/531127-kenya-mall-attack.jpg

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http://s1.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20130921&t=2&i=796111786&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=460&pl=300&r=CBRE98K167U00

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Text portion of  news report below re-posted from Cnn.com, videos courtesy of YouTube.

https://i0.wp.com/news.images.itv.com/image/file/265270/image_update_091ec1bab088a690_1379783030_9j-4aaqsk.jpeg

At least 39 killed in Nairobi mall attack; Islamic militants Al-Shabaab, Al-Qaeda Affiliates, claim responsibility

By Michael Martinez. Faith Karimi and Zain Verjee, CNN
updated 3:15 PM EDT, Sat September 21, 2013
The death toll has risen from 20 to at least 30 at the time of the posting of this report:
[youube=http://youtu.be/UfA0pnOTedg]
A body lies outside the mall. Gunmen shot people outside the mall as they entered it A body lies outside the mall. Gunmen shot people outside the mall as they entered it
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Police isolate and pin down attackers in ongoing siege
  • Al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda-linked militant group in Somalia, claims responsibility
  • Somalia’s president sends condolences to neighboring Kenya
  • As many as 36 hostages are still being held by gunmen inside mall, journalist says

(CNN) — Police and gunmen were facing off Saturday night in an upscale shopping mall in the Kenyan capital after an attack that killed at least 30 people, authorities said.

Several hours after the assault began, Al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-linked militant group based in Somalia, claimed responsibility for the bloodshed.

“The Mujahideen entered #WestgateMall today at around noon and are still inside the mall,” the Islamic extremist group said on its Twitter account.

But authorities said they had cornered the gunmen in the mall as of Saturday night.

“Attackers of Westgate shopping mall have been isolated and pinned down in a room by security forces in the ongoing operation,” Kenyan police said on Twitter.

Shooting witness: We crawled under cars

Witness: We saw lots of blood

Gunmen take hostages at Kenya mall

One suspect was killed, said a Kenyan official who did not want to be identified because of the sensitivity of the information. There were also 100 people injured, the official said.

Americans were among those injured, but the majority of casualties are Kenyan, authorities said.

Another suspected gunman is in the hospital and is being detained by authorities, said national police on its Twitter account.

As darkness fell in Nairobi, authorities said as many as 36 hostages are still being held by the gunmen in the mall, according to journalist Martin Cuddihy of the Australian Broadcasting Corp., who was at the scene and interviewed by CNN.

“Our security forces have taken control of the situation,” said Joseph Ole Lenku, the national government’s cabinet secretary for interior and coordination.

A security agent told CNN’s Lillian Leposo at the scene that the violence was a terrorist attack.

“They have strong reason that these men are terrorists,” Leposo said.

Kenya’s Deputy President H.E. William Ruto said in a statement Saturday: “The government will bring the siege to end” at the mall. He called the gunmen’s deadly attack a “cowardly and dastardly act,” and he commiserated with families whose loved ones were injured or killed, he said.

“We will bring to account the perpetrators and their accomplices. Our security is important,” Ruto said.

Americans were also injured in the attack, said Deputy State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf.

“We condemn this senseless act of violence that has resulted in death and injury for many innocent men, women and children,” Harf said. “Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment on American citizens at this time.”

Somalia’s president sent condolences Saturday to the people of neighboring Kenya.

“These heartless acts against defenseless civilians, including innocent children, are beyond the pale and cannot be tolerated,” President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said in a statement. “We stand shoulder to shoulder with Kenya in its time of grief for these lives lost and the many injured.”

‘It was really, really loud’

In CNN interviews with several witnesses, one man having coffee in the mall recounted a chaotic scene that included exploding grenades.

What first sounded like a fallen table became repeated gunfire. When the gunshots became loud, people screamed and ran for exits, said Uche Kaigwa-Okoye.

People ran outside, but when they heard gunshots outdoors too, they ran back inside the mall, Kaigwa-Okoye told CNN.

Then, he and others realized the gunfire moved to his floor in the four-story mall, so they all ran for cover in the bathroom.

“We quickly entered the toilet and hid in one of the cubicles. We must have been 20” in number, he said.

“They had grenades, and it was really, really loud. All of us felt like they were close,” he said of the explosions.

Tear gas was fired in the corridor, he said.

He saw people in his group texting to family and friends outside the mall, and word spread not to trust anybody in the mall, he said. “When the police started firing, you don’t know who is firing,” he said.

He and others escaped only when they saw 20 police officers on the floor, he said.

‘There was blood throughout the supermarket’

One American inside the mall parking lot described hiding in stairwell with several people, including two people with superficial gunshot wounds, for more than an hour while the shooting was occurring, she told CNN.

Sara Head of Washington was in Kenya on business when she and her colleague were driven into the parking lot by their driver, she said. When they heard gunfire, they crawled underneath cars and hid behind them. They then ran into the stairwell, she said.

“There were several of us in there, but there were two people bleeding,” she said.

Eventually, she and others in the stairwell saw the lights turned back on in the stairwell and the door to a nearby supermarket open, so they all fled the mall through the supermarket and its loading dock.

“There was blood throughout the supermarket as we exited, on the floor,” she said.

Frightened visitors to the mall didn’t even know whether it was safe to escape.

“It wasn’t clear that it was OK to exit. I was sort of sheep following,” she said.

The gunmen shot one person inside his car and two more people on the street as they entered the mall area, Leposo said.

Confusion continued about the origin of the gunmen, Leposo said. The attackers appeared to be of Somali origin, a Kenyan government source and Western diplomatic sources told CNN. But Leposo said there were reports that the gunmen were wearing masks, obscuring any identification.

Meanwhile, the army was mobilized to the mall, and two armored vehicles and an army helicopter joined police as both agencies were trying to secure the four-story mall floor by floor, Leposo said.

As distressed people are pulled out of the mall, they are surrounded by heavy security and are able to speak with family and authorities only, Leposo said.

The gunmen burst into the mall and shot indiscriminately, taking some people hostage, according to a senior Kenyan government source.

Several hours into the seige, gunshots inside the mall could still be heard by people outside the mall at about 10:30 a.m. Eastern, Leposo said.

Two years ago, there was a security alert sent the ex-patriot community to avoid the high-end mall because of reports of a planned attack at the mall, Leposo said.

Another witness Saturday recounted the outburst of bullets inside the mall.

“All of a sudden we heard some shots and people rushing,” said Zulobia Kassam, who was having coffee at the mall. “We realized we were under attack. We rushed to the back, trying to hide and we heard random shots from everywhere — upstairs, downstairs.”

She said they stayed in hiding for about 40 minutes before sneaking out through a back door.

“People were petrified, crying, praying,” she said. “We were told there were hostages being held.”

‘Let police do their job’

It was unclear how many hostages the attackers took, but police are trying to negotiate for their release and retake the building, according to the source.

Crowds dashed down the streets as soldiers in military fatigues crawled under cars to get closer to the mall, guns cocked.

Surveillance helicopters flew overhead.

Police took those rescued from the building to a secluded place for vetting to ensure they were not attackers. They streamed away from the mall in a straight line, arms raised up in the air.

The military asked local media not to televise anything live because the gunmen are watching the screens in the mall.

“We urge Kenyans to keep off Westgate mall, adjacent roads and its environs until further notice,” the interior ministry said in a statement.

“We’re doing our job to ensure that everyone is evacuated to safety,” the ministry said. “This is a scene of crime, let police do their job.”

Authorities said multiple shooters were at the scene and terrified shoppers were hiding inside the mall, which is popular among expatriates and the wealthy.

The high-end mall opened six years ago, and has more than 80 stores.

Village Market, another shopping center frequented by foreigners, shut down for the day as a precaution.

CNN’s Nima Elbagir and Boriana Milanova contributed to this report. Zulobia Kassam, a witness quoted in this story, is related to CNN’s Zain Verjee. CNN’s Jamie Crawford also contributed.

======

In August a terror attack was launched on the airport in Kenya:

Tags: terror attack nairobi kenya mall, al-qaeda, terrorism, kenya, kenya mall massacre september 21 2013

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