By Stephen Kituku, in Nairobi
As images of a shopping mall in smoke are on every news channel around the world, the fate of many hostages is still unknown four days after a group of armed gunmen attacked the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya.
On 21 September at noon, Westgate Mall in Westlands, became the centre of world attention as fighters from Al- Shabaab stormed into the crowded mall, killing and injuring shoppers. The death toll has risen to 69 with 175 persons injured and more than 1000 rescued by Kenyan police. As the siege drags on, the exact number of people still held is unknown.
Bishop David Kamau gave a statement of solidarity to Kenyans, condemning the act of terror and commending the efforts of many Kenyans who have showed up in large numbers to donate blood to save lives of hostages or wounded.
The Catholic Church has urged Kenyans to give donations to help victims and their families through this difficult and trying moments. Caritas Kenya responded immediately by donating 1,000 blood bags, 10,000 gloves, soft drinks, glucose and crates of bread to assist many Kenyans who responded to the call to donate blood at Uhuru Park.
The Caritas family in Kenya continues to pray for the victims and bereaved families hoping that those held hostage will be released safely.
We also call up all Catholic faithful and people in Kenya and beyond to come forward and support this cause in any way possible. We thank all the Caritas members for their timely solidarity messages.
May our Good Lord protect Kenya and her people.