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Two Kenyan Soldiers Jailed For Looting During Mall Siege

Two Kenyan soldiers have been fired and jailed after they allegedly looted stores while they were supposed to be trying to a control a terrorist attack at a Nairobi mall last month, the Kenyan Army said on Tuesday.

Following the four-day siege, which left 67 people dead, there were reports that soldiers sent to protect civilians instead scoured the stores for Rolex watches, diamonds and electronics.

Today for the first time, the Army admitted some of the accusations were true. Reuters reports:

"The head of the Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) said two members of a special combat unit had been dismissed from the force and jailed and a third was under investigation, though he rejected reports of systematic, large-scale looting by troops.

" 'Discipline is our core driving point and we are not playing with this issue. That is why we have taken action on these soldiers,' General Julius Karangi told a news briefing, adding the guilty men had stolen mobile phones and cameras."

The BBC reports that CCTV footage from the day of the siege showed soldiers looting a supermarket, but the military had said they were only taking water because they were thirsty.

Via The Telegraph, here's video:

Reuters adds that this is a major blow to the military, which was one of the country's most admired organizations.

The AP reports that this same kind of thing happened back in August, when emergency crews responded to a huge fire at Nairobi's airport. An investigation found that first responders had "looted electronics, a bank and an ATM during and after the blaze."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is an international correspondent for NPR. He was named NPR's Mexico City correspondent in 2022. Before that, he was based in Cape Town, South Africa.
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