Al Shabaab leader confirms group attacked Kenyan mall, warns of more strikes

Reuters

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - The leader of the Somali Islamist militant group al Shabaab has for the first time confirmed claims by members of his group that it was behind the attack on a Nairobi shopping mall that killed at least 72 people and destroyed part of the complex.

In an audio posted on the al Shabaab-linked website www.somalimemo.net on Wednesday night, Ahmed Godane, also known as Mukhtar Abu al-Zubayr, said the attack on the mall was in retaliation for Kenya's incursion in October 2011 into southern Somalia to crush the insurgents.

"Take your troops out or prepare for a long-lasting war, blood, destruction and evacuation," Godane said in the message, apparently directed at the Kenyan government.

(Reporting by Abdi Sheikh; Writing by James Macharia; editing by Christopher Wilson)

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