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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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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

How A Russian Mercenary Company Is Recruiting Women In Eastern Ukraine

As Russian casualties in Ukraine mount, a Ministry of Defense-supervised mercenary company is recruiting women for combat roles, for the first time ever.

How A Russian Mercenary Company Is Recruiting Women In Eastern Ukraine

A member of the Borz battalion

Anastasiya Korotkova

A pro-Russian battalion in the Eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk has announced a recruitment drive targeting women for combat positions. The "Borz" battalion is led by the "Redut" private military company (PMС), which operates under the supervision of the Russian Ministry of Defense.

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The recruitment announcement was posted on VKontakte, the Russian equivalent of Facebook. It signals a departure from the traditionally male-dominated composition of military forces and seeks to establish a female sniper unit and a female unit for operating unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

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