UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN Security Council on Sunday condemned the terrorist attack at a shopping mall in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, calling it "totally reprehensible". He urged that the perpetrators to be brought to justice as soon as possible, UN news release said on Sunday.
In a televised statement from the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Mr Ban said the premeditated act targeting defenceless civilians is "totally reprehensible."
"This is a time of shock for all Kenyans and all - including the UN family - who are proud to call Nairobi home. I express my solidarity with them at this moment of grief and loss," the UN chief said.
In related news, the UN Security Council also strongly condemned the attack late on Sunday at the Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi and reiterated their determination to combat all forms of terrorism in accordance with their responsibilities under the UN Charter.
It may be noted that Nairobi hosts the UN's main headquarters in Africa. It has a wide-ranging presence and hundreds of national and international staff.
Mr Ban extended his condolences to the scores of families of those killed and injured in the attack at Westgate Mall in the Westlands neighbourhood of the capital.
At least 68 people have been killed and more than 200 wounded by the al-Qaeda-linked militant group Al Shabaab in Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi which began on Saturday. Reports said that Kenyan troops have launched an assault on cornered Somali terrorists who continued to hold 30 hostages inside the building. The attack by Al Shabaab is in retaliation against Kenya's military intervention in neighbouring Somalia.
The UN news release said among the deceased were a retired staff member of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).
The UN secretary general spoke to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday about the incident. He also remains in close contact with the executive director of the UN at Nairobi, Sahle-Work Zewde, as the emergency continues to unfold.
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