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23 people still missing almost a month after Westgate attack

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 00:00 -- BY RAMADHAN RAJAB
In memory: A man lights a candle on September 30 next to a list of the people who were killed in the Westgate Mall massacre in Nairobi on September 21.
In memory: A man lights a candle on September 30 next to a list of the people who were killed in the Westgate Mall massacre in Nairobi on September 21.

TWENTY three people are yet to be found almost a month after the attack on the Westgate Mall by al Shabaab militants. Rescue operations that involved combing through the rubble to ensure there were no bodies trapped in the building ended two weeks ago.

Kenya Red Cross Society secretary general Abbas Gullet said the 23 are those whose family members have reported missing since the attack. “Initially we had 67 as the number of those missing. Others were reunited with their families and we have reconciled our documentation,” he said confirming that their records still show that 67people died in the attack.

Gullet was speaking at the Aga Khan University Hospital during a press briefing on how the Westgate taskforce is going to pay the money raised by well-wishers to hospitals that admitted the victims of the attack. The money being disbursed is part of the Sh102 million raised under the We Are One initiative for emergency rescue operations.

Gullet said Sh62 million was set aside to pay hospital bills for patients who were admitted at Aga Khan, MP Shah, Kenyatta and Mater hospitals in the first phase of disbursement.

He said Sh15 million was for trauma counselling. Gullet said 10 victims of the attack are still hospitalised. He has called on insurance companies whose members were victims of the attack to pay up.