Photos show guests make a harrowing escape from 5-star Nairobi hotel in 20-hour terrorist attack that killed 14

At least 14 people are dead after militant gunmen stormed a luxury hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday afternoon.

The siege stretched for some 20 hours into Wednesday morning, with some 700 civilians evacuated, according to Reuters.

Kenyan security forces have now had “all the terrorists eliminated,” Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Wednesday. He did not specify how many attackers there were.

The Somali Islamist al-Shabaab militant group, which has attacked Kenya before, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Scroll down to see how the attack and evacuation unfolded over Tuesday and Wednesday.


The attack on Nairobi’s DusitD2 hotel complex started around 3 p.m. on Tuesday, police said. The complex in downtown Nairobi is home to bars, restaurants, offices, and banks.

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Google Maps

DusitD2 is part of an international hotel complex, and the Nairobi branch has five stars. Here’s what the lobby looks like.

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Google Maps

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Google Maps

Tuesday’s attack started with an explosion in the parking lot and a suicide bomb explosion in the hotel foyer, Nairobi police said. Surveillance footage here shows two gunmen entering the complex.

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Reuters TV

Here’s what an entrance to the complex looked like after the blast.


Cars near the complex caught on fire as gunshots rang out. Here, a policeman runs along the road to respond to ongoing attacks.

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Baz Ratner/Reuters

Kenyan security forces aimed their weapons upward toward one of the buildings at the complex.


Meanwhile, civilians ran for their lives.


These women on higher floors climbed out the window to escape.


Witness Lucy Wanjiru told The Associated Press that she saw a woman on the ground floor get shot. She hid in a bathroom with several other people, and stayed on the phone with her friend overnight. Here, security forces help civilians flee.


Elsewhere in the complex, civilians also hid in a line behind a member of the Kenyan security forces.

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Baz Ratner/Reuters

These civilians hid behind a car.

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Baz Ratner/Reuters

Footage of the attack might have revealed a secretive US Navy mission. This still shows a woman escaping while a masked man wearing a US military-style backpack with a patch used by the US Navy SEAL Team 3 stands guard.

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A suspected US Navy SEAL rescues civilians from a gun battle.
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Euronews via YouTube

Read more: Video of Nairobi terror attack may have revealed a US Navy SEAL on secretive mission


The attack lasted 20 hours, until Wednesday morning. People were still trapped inside the hotel as dawn broke on Wednesday morning, Reuters said.

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Civilians evacuate after gunmen blasted their way into a hotel and office complex in Nairobi, Kenya, January 16, 2019.
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Reuters TV

This man gave a thumbs-up sign as he successfully evacuated the hotel on early Wednesday morning.

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Reuters TV

The Somali Islamist militant group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack on Tuesday. The group often targets Kenya because the country sends troops to help protect the Somali government.

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Gunmen enter the DusitD2 complex in Nairobi on Tuesday.
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Reuters TV

It’s not clear how many militants took part of the attack. Surveillance footage from various angles showed there were at least four, Reuters reported.

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Reuters TV

14 people died in the attack, the Kenyan government said. They included 11 Kenyans, an American, and a Briton, Reuters reported, citing morgue staff. Here, a funeral van arrives at the Chiromo mortuary next to the DusitD2 complex on Wednesday.

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Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

Footage showed bodies slumped over the tables at a restaurant in the complex. Business Insider has decided not to publish it.


Here, Kenya Red Cross staff support a woman who just learned that her family member was killed in the attack.


This unnamed member of Kenya’s special forces was also wounded. Here, paramedics carry him into an ambulance on Wednesday.


Rescue workers and journalists were also at the scene to help and document the attack. Here are some of them by a sign leading to the complex on Wednesday.

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Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a televised address on Wednesday morning that “all the terrorists eliminated,” and that “14 innocent lives were lost through the hands of these murderous terrorists.”

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Kenyan policemen walk from the scene of the attack on Wednesday.
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Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

DusitD2 said on its website: “We are extremely saddened by this act of violence.” Here, a man reads a newspaper article about the attack near the scene of the siege on Wednesday.

Source: DusitD2