Kenya soldiers move toward the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi on Sept. 24.
(Photo: Sayyid Azim, AP)
JOHANNESBURG (AP) - Al-Shabab, the armed Islamic extremist group that attacked a shopping mall in Kenya, says foreigners were a "legitimate target" and confirmed that gunmen separated Muslims from others and let the Muslims go.
In an email exchange Wednesday with The Associated Press, al-Shabab said the jihadis "carried out a meticulous vetting process" so the Muslims would not be harmed.
At least 18 foreigners were killed, including six Britons, citizens from France, Canada, Trinidad, the Netherlands, Australia, Peru, India, Ghana, South Africa and China, when the militants entered the Westgate Mall on Saturday, slaughtering men, women and children with assault rifles and grenades. Witnesses said the gunmen also rounded up people, asked questions about Islam that a Muslim would know, and told the Muslims to leave.
The current death toll is 67.