The severe damage caused by bombs and bullets during the sustained attack on the upscale DusitD2 hotel can now be revealed.
Based on what the Nation saw at the Secret Garden restaurant on the night after the attack, it was obvious that the Al-Shabaab attackers had a clear motive: To kill and destroy.
It would appear that the attackers took advantage of the architectural design of the complex, which hindered free movement, to launch their attack.
Inside the restaurant housed in the Hanover building, bodies of five people who were dining lay slumped on the tables with gunshot and shrapnel wounds.
A glass panel covering one side of the cafe that is directly opposite the Arlington building was riddled with bullet holes.
Every window in the eatery had been blown apart and curtains fluttered eerily in the cold dark Tuesday night through the jagged openings.
Spent cartridges, menus, receipts, plates with meals, chairs, laptops, phones and other personal effects were strewn all over.
It is the shooting, coupled with the blast wave from the suicide bomber who appears to have detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at the restaurant’s foyer, that shattered glass windows causing extensive damage.
The force of the blast tore apart his body and also triggered alarms of vehicles parked near the restaurant, according to witness accounts.
The gunfire caused severe structural damage to the metallic doors as their hinges were ripped off the walls.
It took careful planning by the Kenya Red Cross team collecting the bodies to manoeuvre through the glass and metal debris to avoid stepping on any grenades which security officers had warned could be on the floor.
In the cafe’s kitchen, there were blood stains on one part of the wall but the floors remained intact.
Collins Onyango, a waiter at the eatery who was preparing to finish his afternoon shift, told the Nation that he saw one of the attackers dressed in black and wearing a green belt.
A shocked Onyango, who was one of the first to be evacuated from the hotel, said he was startled by a huge blast at the main gate of the office park which is only a few metres from his workplace.
“As we escaped through the kitchen door which connects to the main entrance, we had to jump over dead bodies,” Mr Onyango said.
His account was corroborated by observations made by the Nation on Tuesday evening and those of Mr Nobert Indire, a stylist who works at the Amadiva Salon, housed in the nearby Belgravia Plaza.
The Hanover building also houses I &M Bank where Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet said the attack started.
“This criminal activity started at about three o'clock in a coordinated fashion. It began at I&M Bank with an explosion that targeted three vehicles in the parking lot and a suicide explosion at the foyer of Dusit hotel,” he said in a statement.
Outside the complex’s main entrance were shells of burnt vehicles that the attackers had bombed with a grenade when they arrived.