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Kenyans donate blood amid mall siege

Sept. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Nairobians got back to work, donated blood and gave money to charity amid insecurity in the Kenyan capital as a siege by Somalia-based Islamist militants of an upscale mall in the city entered a fourth day.

The East African nation’s police said they’re close to ending the standoff with al-Shabaab gunmen at the Westgate Mall that began Sept. 21 and left at least 62 people dead. An unknown number of people were taken hostage. The attack fulfills a threat by the al-Qaeda-linked militia to retaliate for Kenya’s deployment of troops two years ago in neighboring Somalia, where al-Shabaab has been fighting to create an Islamic state.

“I know we are not safe, but life has to continue,” said Hamdani Mbugua, a 32-year-old taxi driver who witnessed the beginning of the attack at the mall after he dropped off a client. “It is wrong for those terrorists to kill innocent people. I think the government should continue fighting them in Somalia and anywhere they are.”

Traffic jams were back to their usual volume as businesses reopened and workers returned to their jobs today after many stayed away yesterday. There was a visible increase in the number of police officers and army soldiers patrolling the streets and helicopters circled overhead.

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