Metro No survivors of Ethiopian Airlines plane crash with 157 people on board

Ethiopian Airlines crash a disaster for humanitarian agencies

The flag of the United Nations is flown at half-mast, the morning after an Ethiopian Airlines passenger jet to Nairobi crashed.TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Ethiopian Airlines grounds its Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet until further notice – AIWA! NO!

The United Nations is “united in grief” in the aftermath of an Ethiopian plane crash that killed at least 21 staff workers from at least five UN agencies, UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres says.

The crash of the Ethiopian Airlines jet, shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa on Sunday, has been a catastrophe for the world’s humanitarian community. In addition to the 21 victims from UN agencies, many other workers from private relief agencies were among the 157 passengers and crew who were killed in the crash.

Flights between Addis Ababa and Nairobi are often filled with staff from humanitarian organizations, since both cities are major hubs and regional centres for UN agencies, private relief groups, diplomatic offices and other international missions.

Explainer: Ethiopian Airlines crash: What we know so far about the disaster and the 157 victims

Jessica Hyba, a longtime worker at the UN refugee agency UNHCR and previously at CARE Canada, was one of 18 Canadians who died in the crash. She had been the senior external relations officer at the Mogadishu office of UNHCR and was among three workers at the agency who died.

Among the other relief agencies whose staff died in the plane crash were CARE, Save the Children, Catholic Relief Services, the Red Cross of Norway, the Norwegian Refugee Council, the Italian humanitarian agency Africa Tremila, and a number of human rights and civil society organizations.

Many were attending the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, which began on Monday morning with a moment of silence for the victims as the assembly’s flags were lowered to half-mast.

Danielle Moore, a 24-year-old Canadian who worked for a Winnipeg charitable organization, was travelling to Nairobi to attend the UN Environment Assembly when she died in the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

“The global tragedy has hit close to home, and the UN is united in grief,” Mr. Guterres said at the opening of a UN women’s conference in New York on Monday.

He said the UN victims “all had one thing in common: the spirit to serve the world and to make it a better place for all.”

Among the UN agencies that lost staff in the crash are the World Food Program, UNHCR, the UN Environment Program, the International Telecommunications Union, and the International Organization for Migration.

Seven staff workers of the World Food Program were among those who died. “Each of these WFP colleagues were willing to travel and work far from their homes and loved ones to help make the world a better place to live,” WFP executive director David Beasley said in a statement. “That was their calling, as it is for the rest of the WFP family.”

Catholic Relief Services said four of its staff members were killed in the crash. The four were Ethiopians who were travelling to Nairobi to attend training.

Advertisements

Kenya hotel terror attack: Luke Potter named as Briton killed, 22 people reported killed, figure likely to rise

Luke Potter
Image captionLuke Potter was involved in development projects across East Africa

|AIWA! NO!|BBC NEWS|A British man killed in an attack on a hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, has been named as Luke Potter by the international development charity he worked for.

In a statement, Gatsby said it was “shocked and saddened” by the death of its Africa programmes director.

Mr Potter was among at least 21 people killed. It is understood a member of the UK Special Forces was involved in a rescue operation at the complex.

Nairobi Hotel attack locations
Nairobi Hotel attack locations

The Somalia-based militant group al-Shabab said it was behind the attack.

Gunmen stormed the complex in the capital on Tuesday. Gunfire and explosions continued into Wednesday before President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the siege had ended.

The Foreign Office said another Briton was also wounded in the attack.

In a statement, Gatsby Africa said Mr Potter had “devoted the past 10 years of his career to helping some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world” and had worked with the charity for more than three years, carrying out assignments across East Africa.

“Luke was respected by all he worked with, bringing huge drive, determination, a relentless work ethic, and a thirst for new ideas to every project,” the statement said.

“He brought a calm head and his unique sense of humour to every situation.”

It said Mr Potter was “instrumental” in establishing the organisation’s forestry programme in Kenya and provided “crucial leadership, guidance and support” to other programmes in Tanzania and Rwanda.

The charity said its “thoughts and deepest condolences” were with Mr Potter’s family, partner, daughter and friends and they were offering support to them and their own staff.

Media captionThe scene at the Nairobi Dusit hotel as the rescue operation took place

The UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey, confirmed the death of a British man on Twitter.

“I’m very sad to confirm that we believe at least one British national has been killed in the attack,” he said.

“We are providing our support to his family and friends at this very difficult time.”

The Foreign Office added it was “in contact with the Kenyan authorities” and was “ready to help any other British people affected”.

It is understood a member of the British SAS – who was in Kenya as part of a training team – was involved in rescuing hostages.

The armed special forces soldier entered the hotel complex to help rescue the trapped civilians and, according to a source, fired his weapon.

He is believed to have been working alongside members of the US Special Forces, who were already in Nairobi when the attack took place.

A man believed to be a member of the British SAS helps a woman caught up in the attack to safety
Image captionA man believed to be a member of the British SAS helps people caught up in the attack to safety

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Twitter: “Really tragic news from Kenya – my thoughts are with the families and friends who have lost loved ones in this attack including one British citizen.

“UK stands with Kenya at this difficult time. Our team in Nairobi are supporting all Brits affected.”

On Wednesday morning, President Kenyatta announced the assault was over, adding that the “terrorists” had been “eliminated” and more than 700 civilians had been evacuated to safety.

He said: “We will seek out every person that was involved in the funding, planning and execution of this heinous act.

“We are a country governed by laws, rules and regulations – a country that embraces peaceful coexistence… I must also state that we are also a nation that never forgets those who hurt our children.”

The president said 14 “innocent” people had been killed in the attack.

Kenya’s police chief later said the death toll had risen to 21. The Kenya Red Cross said about 45 people were still unaccounted for.

The US State Department said an American man was among those killed.

Map

The luxury complex, which houses the DusitD2 hotel as well as offices, is in the Westlands district of the city.

The attack began at about 15:00 local time (12:00 GMT) on Tuesday, when four gunmen threw bombs at vehicles in the car park, before entering the lobby, where one blew himself up, police say.

Security camera footage showed at least four heavily armed men walking in and opening fire. There are reports they had been seen visiting the compound in recent days.

When the gunmen first entered the complex there was confusion, as people first tried to escape to freedom and then retreated into the building as they came under fire.

Many civilians remained holed up in the complex for several hours, as they hid from the attackers in bathrooms, and even under tables and chairs.

Groups of civilians were escorted to safety by security forces throughout the night.

In the early hours of Wednesday, more than 100 people were rescued. About 30 people are being treated at Nairobi hospitals, media reports say.

KENYA HOTEL TERROR Attack as it happened


Recce Squad arrives at 14 Riverside following terrorist attack

Nairobi, Kenya (CNN)(AIWA! NO!|Armed men burst into a hotel complex in Nairobi with gunfire and explosions, killing at least 14 people in an attack that lasted hours and ended Wednesday morning, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said.

“The security operation at Dusit complex is over, and all the terrorists eliminated,” Kenyatta told reporters without giving details. “Fourteen innocent lives were lost through the hands of these murderers, terrorists.”More than 700 people were evacuated to safety in the course of the attack, he added.

Shortly before Kenyatta declared it over, gunshots and explosions could be heard at the scene.An American, Jason Spindler, was identified by his employer as one of those killed in the attack. He was co-founder and managing director of I-DEV International, a firm advising on business strategy for emerging markets.

American killed in Kenya hotel attack ‘was trying to make positive change,’ his mother says

Jason Spindler died in this week's attack at a hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya, according to the business advisory firm he founded.

Jason Spindler died in this week’s attack at a hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya, according to the business advisory firm he founded.

|AIWA! NO!|(CNN)An American business investment adviser and former Peace Corps member was among those killed in a terror attack on a Kenyan hotel compound, the company he founded said Wednesday.

READ RELATED: At least 14 killed as Kenya hotel siege is declared over

Jason Spindler, founder and managing director of I-DEV International, died in the attack on the DusitD2 compound, an upmarket cluster of shops and hotel facilities in the capital of Nairobi, his company said.

Why?Armed men burst into the complex with gunfire and explosions Tuesday afternoon, killing at least 14 people in an attack that lasted hours and ended Wednesday morning, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said.

Spindler’s mother, Sarah Spindler, told NBC News on Tuesday night that her son “was trying to make positive change in the third world in emerging markets.””We all miss him so much. And it’s so sad that such a bright young person is taken away by terrorism,” Sarah Spindler told NBC News.I-DEV says it is a strategy and investment advisory firm that attempts to grow businesses in emerging markets.

Spindler, a University of Texas business graduate who received a doctoral law degree at New York University, once served in the US Peace Corps in northern Peru, where he “led the growth of a $7 million locally owned agribusiness,” a biography on I-DEV’s website says.

He also was an investment banker with Salomon Smith Barney/Citigroup, and had advised more than 100 small- or medium-sized businesses in emerging markets, his biography reads.The US State Department said an American died in the Kenya attack, but did not provide details.

CNN’s Farai Sevenzo and Faith Karimi contributed to this report.

KENYA deadly terror attack: Al-Shabab – Somali Islamic Extremists open fire at upscale hotel complex in Nairobi, leaving at least 11 dead

A woman is escorted from the Riverside Drive complex in Nairobi.

Extremists attack upscale hotel complex in Nairobi killing 11

NAIROBI, Kenya
Abdi Guled, ASSOCIATED PRESS|AIWA! NO!| — Extremists launched a deadly attack on a luxury hotel in Kenya’s capital Tuesday, sending people fleeing in panic as explosions and heavy gunfire reverberated through the complex. A witness said he saw five bodies at the hotel entrance alone.

Al-Shabab — the Somalia-based Islamic extremist group that carried out the 2013 Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi that left 67 people dead — claimed responsibility.

“It is terrible. What I have seen is terrible,” said a man who ran from the scene, Charles Njenga.

As night fell, gunfire continued more than two hours after the first shots were heard at the complex, which includes the DusitD2 hotel, along with bars, restaurants, banks and offices and is in a well-to-do neighborhood with large numbers of American, European and Indian expatriates.

It was not clear how many attackers took part.

Security forces help civilians flee the scene as cars burn behind, at a hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. Terrorists attacked an upscale hotel complex in Kenya's capital Tuesday, sending people fleeing in panic as explosions and heavy gunfire reverberated through the neighborhood. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

However, a Kenyan police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media said that bodies were seen in restaurants downstairs and in offices upstairs, but “there was no time to count the dead.”

Also, a witness who gave his name only as Ken said he saw five bodies at the entrance. He said that other people were shouting for help and “when we rushed back to try to rescue them, gunshots started coming from upstairs, and we had to duck because they were targeting us and we could see two guys shooting.”

Kenyan hospitals appealed for blood donations even as the number of wounded remained unclear.

The violence appeared to fit the pattern of attacks al-Shabbab often carries out in Somalia’s capital, with an explosion followed by a group of gunmen storming the place. Like the Westgate Mall attack, this one appeared aimed at wealthy Kenyans and foreigners living in the country.

The attack came a day after a magistrate ruled that three men must stand trial on charges they were involved in the Westgate Mall siege. A fourth suspect was freed for lack of evidence.

Tuesday’s violence left blood and glass all over. Several vehicles burned, sending black smoke rising over the complex. People were rushed, some carried, from the scene. Some ducked behind cars, screaming, while others took cover behind fountains and other features at the lush complex.

Ambulances, security forces and firefighters converged along with a bomb disposal unit, and vehicles were cordoned off for fear they contained explosives. Police said they blew up a car that had explosives inside. An unexploded grenade was also seen in a hallway at the complex.

Security forces hurried out a large group of women, one of them still in curlers. Dozens of others were rushed to safety as plainclothes officers went shop to shop in the complex. Some people held up their hands to show they were unarmed.

Al-Shabab has vowed retribution against Kenya for sending troops to Somalia since 2011. The al-Qaida-linked group has killed hundreds of people in Kenya, which has been targeted more than any other of the six countries providing troops to an African Union force in Somalia.

The attack immediately brought to mind the Westgate Mall massacre, when al-Shabab extremists burst into the luxury shopping center, hurling grenades and starting a dayslong siege. In 2015, al-Shabab claimed responsibility for an attack on Kenya’s Garissa University that killed 147 people, mostly students.

A Kenyan intelligence official said the country had been on high alert since November, with information about potential attacks on high-profile targets in Nairobi. The official was not authorized to talk to the media and spoke on condition of anonymity.

A Somali diplomat who likewise spoke on condition of anonymity said Somali officials were in the hotel for meetings at the time of the attack and several were feared to still be inside.

Despite the years of bloodshed, the Kenya-Somalia border remains porous, with al-Shabab extremists able to easily bribe their way across, according to a U.N. panel of experts.

The hotel complex in Nairobi’s Westlands neighborhood is about a mile (2 kilometers) from Westgate Mall on a relatively quiet, tree-lined road in what is considered one of the most secure parts of the city. The hotel’s website says it is “cocooned away from the hustle and bustle in a secure and peaceful haven.”

On Monday, the Dusit hotel promoted its spa by tweeting: “Is your new year off to a rough start?”