Relatives of the dead, survivors and shop owners converged outside Nairobi’s Westgate Mall on Sunday, lighting candles and laying flowers in memory of those killed a year ago when terrorists stormed the upscale mall.
The attack killed 67 people and left Kenya’s capital unsettled for days as terrorists battled with security forces, and people trapped inside tried to flee the fighting.
A memorial plaque with the names of the victims was also unveiled in a separate ceremony at the Amani Garden memorial site in the Karura Forest on the edge of the city. Families laid flowers for their lost loved ones, sharing memories and tears.
Police doubled patrols in Nairobi, chief David Kimaiyo said Saturday. They increased their presence in public places such as churches, supermarkets and malls after he warned residents to be “extra vigilant” in the coming weeks in anticipation of more attacks.
Al-Shabab terrorists claimed responsibility for the mall attack saying it was retribution for Kenya’s troop presence in Somalia, the group’s home base. More recently, al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab vowed to avenge the death of their leader killed in a U.S. airstrike earlier this month.