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Islamitas 'shebab' ameaçam matar reféns em centro comercial de Nairobi

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O sequestro dura desde sábado. Um grupo com cerca de dez elementos, invadiu um centro comercial, fazendo até ao momento 69 mortos confirmados, 175 feridos e 63 desaparecidos. VEJA AS FOTOS

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Rebeldes islamitas 'shebab' somalis, aliados da Al-Qaida, ameaçaram matar pessoas que mantém reféns num centro comercial de Nairobi, numa altura em que as tropas quenianas se movimentam para acabar com o ataque.

"Nós autorizamos os 'mujahedeen' [combatentes] no interior do edifício a tomar ações contra os prisioneiros se forem pressionados", afirmou Ali Mohamud Rage, porta-voz do grupo, num comunicado publicado num portal islamita, citado pela agência France Presse.

"Estamos a dizer aos cristãos que avançam em direção aos 'mujahedeen' para terem misericórdia pelos prisioneiros que vão enfrentar o peso de qualquer força direcionada contra os 'mujahedeen'", disse o mesmo responsável.

O grupo, ligado à Al-Qaeda, garantiu estar em contacto com os combatentes no interior do centro comercial, indicando ainda que os homens armados lutam contra as forças quenianas e israelitas.

O impasse no centro comercial de Nairobi entrou no terceiro dia, que amanheceu ao som de explosões e também de disparos, os quais duraram cerca de 15 minutos, de acordo com as agências internacionais.

Os 'shebab' não disseram quantas pessoas continuam reféns do grupo, com cerca de dez elementos, que invadiu, na tarde de sábado, o complexo de quatro andares, abrindo fogo e lançando granadas, provocando, até ao momento, 69 mortos confirmados, 175 feridos e 63 desaparecidos.

O exército queniano disse anteriormente ter conseguido isolar, numa zona do centro comercial, os elementos da milícia islâmica que invadiu o edifício, no âmbito de uma operação militar considerada "delicada" dada à existência de reféns no interior do complexo.

A milícia Shebab indicou que os seus militantes tinham atacado o 'Westgate' em retaliação a uma intervenção militar do Quénia na Somália onde as tropas da União Africana lutam contra os grupos islâmicos.