HAF Condemns Terrorist Attack on Westgate Mall in Kenya
Washington, D.C. (September 25, 2013) -- The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) strongly condemned last Saturday’s terrorist attack on the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, which left at least 61 people dead and 175 injured. Leader of HAF expressed sympathy and condolences for the victims and their families, which included several ethnic Indians among the dead.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this horrific and brutal tragedy,” said Padma Kuppa, member of HAF’s Board of Directors. “As Hindu Americans, we stand united with the Kenyan people in their fight against terrorism and violent extremism.”
The attack was orchestrated by Al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda linked Islamist militant group based in neighboring Somalia. During the assault, the militants reportedly asked shoppers about their religion, and specifically targeted and killed non-Muslims.
According to the Kenyan government, security forces ended the four day siege on Tuesday, after taking control of the shopping center and killing or capturing the remaining gunmen.
Kuppa also commended the heroic efforts of Kenyan security forces and first responders in preventing further loss of life and rescuing several hostages trapped inside.
Shortly after the attack in Kenya, Islamist militants carried out another large-scale terrorist attack over the weekend in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. Pakistani Jundullah, a branch of the Pakistani Taliban, targeted the minority Christian community and bombed the All Saints Church, resulting in the deaths of more than 80 worshippers and injuring 130.
"This latest bombing is just another in a long line of attacks on non-Muslims and members of minority Muslim sects in Pakistan,” said Jay Kansara, HAF’s Associate Director of Government Relations. “While the incidents in Pakistan and Kenya are seemingly unconnected, the groups involved in both attacks share a common virulent ideology that lacks respect for human life.”