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This Happened

This Happened — September 21: Al-Shabaab's Westgate Mall Attack

On this day in 2013, armed militants from the Islamist extremist group Al-Shabaab stormed the upscale Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, targeting shoppers and employees in a violent siege. The siege took place from September 21 to September 24.

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Who carried out the attack on the Westgate Mall?

The attack was carried out by Al-Shabaab, a Somalia-based militant group with links to Al-Qaeda. The group claimed responsibility for the attack, stating it was in retaliation for Kenyan military involvement in Somalia against Al-Shabaab.

What happened during the Westgate Mall attack?

A group of armed militants stormed the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, throwing grenades and opening fire on shoppers and staff. The attackers took hostages and engaged in a standoff with Kenyan security forces. The siege lasted for several days and resulted in intense gun battles. At least 67 people were killed, including shoppers, employees, and security personnel, as well as attackser. More than 175 people were injured.

How did the Kenyan government respond to the Westgate Mall attack?

The Kenyan government responded by deploying security forces to the mall to confront the attackers and rescue hostages. The operation was met with challenges due to the complex layout of the mall and the well-armed militants. The standoff lasted for several days before security forces managed to neutralize the attackers.

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The Language Of Femicide, When Euphemisms Are Not So Symbolic

In the wake of Giulia Cecchettin's death, our Naples-based Dottoré remembers one of her old patients, a victim of domestic abuse.

Photograph of a large mural of a woman painted in blue on a wall in Naples

A mural of a woman's face in Naples

Oriel Mizrahi/Unsplash
Mariateresa Fichele

As Italy continues to follow the case of 22-year-old Giulia Cecchettin, murdered by her ex-boyfriend Filippo Turetta, language has surfaced as an essential tool in the fight against gender violence. Recently, Turetta's father spoke to the press and used a common Italian saying to try and explain his son's actions: "Gli è saltato un embolo", translating directly as "he got a blood clot" — meaning "it was a sudden flash of anger, he was not himself."

Maria was a victim of systemic violence from her husband.

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