Kenya’s Westgate massacre mall reopens in capital

Updated 18 July 2015

Kenya’s Westgate massacre mall reopens in capital

NAIROBI: Kenya’s Westgate shopping mall reopened for business on Saturday, almost two years after Somali gunmen stormed in and massacred 67 shoppers and staff in four days of carnage.
The complex, Nairobi’s most upmarket shopping center and a magnet for the east African nation’s growing middle class and expatriates, was badly damaged in the assault by the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shabab rebels and has undergone months of renovation.
Around 50 shoppers — some of them survivors of the massacre — queued to be the first to pass through newly-installed metal detectors at the main entrance, after Nairobi governor Evans Kidero and Atul Shah, owner of the main regional supermarket chain Nakumatt, declared the mall back in business in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“They didn’t kill our spirit,” Kidero said. “We are resilient, we are positive, we always look forward, as demonstrated by the number of people who have come here today.”
“Nairobi is going to boom,” he said, adding next weekend’s visit of US President Barack Obama was also “a vote a confidence for our city and our country.”
By midday, the mall had filled up with hundreds of shoppers. With no memorial of any kind for those who died, fresh coats of paint and the bullet holes filled in, there was no reminder of the horror of September 2013.
“Today we are excited because we are back on our feet, and we can convince the world that terrorism is not bringing us down,” said Ben Mulla, a 34-year-old communications contractor and a siege survivor.
But he said he still had painful memories of the attack.
“I was coming to have a business lunch. The shooting was intense, and I went to hide in a flowerbed. I saw four terrorists... they shot at me and the ricochet from the wall went in my leg. They shot a security guard right in front of me,” he recounted.
“They were young men. They were emotionless. They seemed to be enjoying what they were doing. Their faces I will never forget for the rest of my life.”
The Shabab said they attacked Westgate, which is partly Israeli-owned, as retaliation for the presence of Kenyan troops in Somalia as part of an African Union force supporting the internationally-backed Mogadishu government.
Since Westgate, the Shabab have continued to strike on Kenyan soil, with an even bigger attack in April when another four suicide attackers massacred 148 people in Kenya’s northeastern Garissa University, most of them students.


Yokohama send big guns Jeonbuk packing with 4-1 victory

Updated 5 min 3 sec ago

Yokohama send big guns Jeonbuk packing with 4-1 victory

  • It’s a fantastic achievement and we are proud of everyone involved — Marinos coach Ange Postecouglou

DOHA: Yokohama Marinos cruised into the knockout phase of the Asian Champions League for the first time in their history on Tuesday, hammering two-time champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 4-1 in their Group H clash.

Yokohama's Thai defender Theerathon Bunmathan thundered in a shot from the edge of the box in the 17th minute to set the tone, before three goals in the second half sent the 2006 and 2016 winners Jeonbuk crashing out of the tournament.

"It's a great performance and a credit to the players, because it's the first time the club has got out of the group stage," said Yokohama coach Ange Postecouglou.

"We started really well and put pressure on them, scored a goal — a good goal from Bunmathan.

"We missed some chances in the first half which always keeps the opposition in the game, but in the second half we were a bit smarter, worked our counterattacks really well and scored three good goals.

"It's a fantastic achievement and we are proud of everyone involved."

Besides being the first team from eastern Asia to win the Champions League when it was launched in its current format in 2003, Jeonbuk are also eight-time K League winners, a South Korean record, which includes four consecutive titles starting in 2017.

But at the Al Janoub Stadium on Tuesday, their only bright moment came in the 54th minute when Gustavo fired home from the penalty spot three minutes after Marcos Junior had put Yokohama 2-0 ahead.

Teruhito Nagakawa's 71st minute strike and an own goal by Song—  whose attempted headed clearance found his own net seven minutes from close — confirmed Jeonbuk's exit.

"The team gave what it was possible to do with the contingent that we have," lamented Jeonbuk coach Jose Morais.

"In the first half, strategically, we went in terms of containing the offensive game of Yokohama, which is a big game and a quality game."

"In the second half, the result as it was wasn't enough to take us forward, so we took more risks."

In Group G, Chinese giants Guangzhou Evergrande and South Korea's Suwon Samsung Bluewings played out a 1-1 draw at the Khalifa International Stadium.

Lim Sang-hyub put Suwon ahead in the 53rd minute but Wei Shihao restored parity in the 72nd for Guangzhou with the help of an assist from Ai Kesen.

The result means the second qualifying spot from the group will be decided on Friday with the Bluewings needing at least a 2-0 victory to join Vissel Kobe of Japan in the round of 16.

Guangzhou coach Fabio Cannavaro was once again at a loss to explain his team's showing.

"I am not happy because the performance of my team in the first half was not so good," said the former Italy international.

"We didn't control the game and we didn't even try to play football. Even in defence we did not play well. I don't want to find excuses."

Suwon's Park Kun-ha lamented the fact that his team didn't make the most of the chances they got.

"We got the first goal and then unfortunately conceded the equaliser. We had many chances at the end but we could not win."