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Available Expert - Fourteen dead after attack in Nairobi

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Kenya’s security forces have killed the Islamic extremist gunmen whose assault on a luxury hotel left 14 dead, but Queen’s University expert Ali Bhagat says that for many Kenyans, this is a reminder of the constant security threats facing the capital city. Al-Shabaab militants have claimed responsibility for yesterday’s attack in Nairobi.

“The al-Shabab-backed terrorist attacks in Nairobi are a stark reminder of the fraught political tensions in Kenya, and more widely, in East Africa,” says Bhagat. “The attacks are reminiscent of the Westgate Mall tragedy in 2013 and Garissa University attack in 2015 also claimed by al-Shabab militants. The dusitD2 hotel is located in one of the most securitized areas of the city--Westlands--home to many expats and wealthy Kenyans. In addition, Nairobi is home to many Somalis and other diverse ethnic groups who face xenophobic and islamophbic pressure, policing, violence, and scapegoating in the aftermath of these attacks.”

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Anne Craig (613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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