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Kenya mall attack hostages were tortured, says police source

Published: Updated:

Talk of rape, disfigurement and beheadings are rife in Kenya’s capital following a four-day siege at one of Nairobi’s malls, according to a Kenyan newspaper report published on Thursday.

A police doctor who scoured Nairobi’s Westgate mall for bodies after the attack, carried out by al-Shabaab gunmen, has said victims were tortured before they died.

“They [the al-Shabaab attackers] removed eyes, ears, noses. Fingers are cut by pliers, noses ripped by pliers,” he said in an interview with Kenyan newspaper The Star.

“Those are not allegations. Those are truths,” he added. However, the doctor’s statements have not yet been verified.

“Here it was pain. You find people with hooks hanging from the roof.”

The doctor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was deployed to the scene of the attack on Wednesday morning, he said.

Kenyan police have asked for patience as they work to recover bodies from the site with Kenyan Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku warning it could take up to a week to complete the search.

The statements come amid mounting public anger over the Kenyan authorities’ silence about the details of the siege.

Gunmen armed with machine guns and other weapons stormed the Nairobi Westgate mall on Saturday afternoon, shooting indiscriminately. During the siege, rescuers evacuated many survivors, but Kenya’s Red Cross says that 71 people are still listed as missing.