Mourners from various races and religions — Christians, Muslims and Hindus among them — grabbed handfuls of dirt and planted saplings at a memorial ceremony Monday for the nearly 70 people killed at Nairobi’s Westgate Mall exactly one month ago.
By design, no major political or religious leaders were invited, giving the crowd of 400 or so a family-only feel. But the actions of Kenya’s security forces weighed on family members who quietly seethed over allegations and newly released video images of Kenyan Defense Forces — KDF — soldiers looting the mall.
Despite those lingering images, the organizers tried to foster a “We Are One” feeling — a chant repeated by the crowd — in the wake of an attack that saw al-Qaida-linked terrorists spare some Muslims who could recall religious phrases, leaving behind non-Muslims to be killed.
photos of couple
Greek police on Monday released photographs of a couple charged with abducting a girl and judicial authorities put the pair in pre-trial custody, as an international search for the child’s biological parents intensified. Authorities also scrambled to uncover fraudulent birth declarations related to possible welfare benefit scams involving the couple and others.
Investigators trying to establish how the girl known only as “Maria” came to be with the detained Gypsy couple are considering a range of potential scenarios, from child trafficking to even simple charity.
The suspects were also identified as 39-year-old Christos Salis and a 40-year-old woman who used the names Eleftheria Dimopoulou and Selini Sali. They were arrested last week, after police found the girl when they raided a Gypsy, or Roma, encampment near the central Greek town of Farsala. Her DNA shows she is not the couple’s child.
kills 6 on bus
A female suicide bomber blew herself up on a city bus in southern Russia on Monday, killing six people and injuring about 30, officials said. The attack in Volgograd added to security fears ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The suspected bomber was from the North Caucasus, a region in southern Russia where an Islamic insurgency has been simmering for more than a decade following two separatist wars in Chechnya. A local official said the suspected attacker was married to an Islamic militant.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for Monday’s suicide bombing, but it was the first outside the North Caucasus since Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov three months ago called for a resumption of attacks on civilians and urged militants to target the Sochi Games, which are to be held in February.
Cover charge leads
to club shooting
A $30 cover charge led to a nightclub shooting early Monday on the Las Vegas Strip that left one patron dead when he tried to subdue the gunman and two employees in critical condition, officials said.
A man opened fire about 5:45 a.m. wounding a manager and a guard at Drai’s After Hours, a club at Bally’s hotel-casino, police Sgt. John Sheahan said. Another guard might have been injured.
Sheahan said the nightclub was open at the time and the shooter was believed to have acted alone. He was hospitalized with unspecified injuries.
Sheahan said the male patron was fatally wounded trying to subdue the gunman as people ran from the club.