High-end shopping malls close following Westgate attack

The scene of crime where many were killed after gunmen stormed the Westgate Mall in Nairobi September 21, 2013. WILLIAM OERI

Business in Nairobi on Saturday came to a standstill as property agents and shop owners closed their business amid security concern.

Knight Frank, the property manager for Junction Mall, a high-end shopping mall on Ngong Road Nairobi, is among property agents that took a swift response to the incident at West Gate mall opting to close the mall.

“We have closed it (the Junction Mall) till tomorrow (Sunday). Nobody is within the premises. Our concern is shopper’s safety,” said Ben Woodhams Knight Frank managing director, Kenya.

According to Police reports, an armed group stormed Westgate, an upmarket shopping mall on Saturday, killing at least three people and sparking a fierce gun battle.

Police went on ground carrying out an evacuation of those inside as they search for the attackers who were said to be inside.

There was also heavy security presence at the Village Market, another high-end shopping mall located in Gigiri. Private security guards and regular police were guarding the entrance of the mall.

Capital Centre, another up market mall on Mombasa Road also issued a statement stating the mall had been closed. Most of the property managers closed the properties as a precaution.

Police and other elite squad were still on the ground at 6pm at the Westgate mall. More than 20 people have been confirmed dead. The causalities have been taken to hospitals within the city.

Other malls reported to have been closed for security concern are, Galleria Mall in Karen, Karen Mall and Nakumatt Lifestyle in Nairobi city centre.

“We are monitoring the situation and we will take necessary action and precaution whenever deem necessary,” said Alfred N’gang’a, Nakumatt Holdings spokesman.

Nakumatt is one of the affected businesses. It has one of its frequented supermarkets at the Westgate Mall. 

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