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Kenyan forces ‘control’ besieged Nairobi mall
Kenyan troops have taken control of the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi that had been under attack from Islamist al Shabaab militants for three days, the Interior Ministry said late on Monday. At least 62 people were killed during the siege.
The deadly three-day siege of a high-end shopping mall in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi appeared to have ended late on Monday, as the Interior Ministry said its forces had “taken control” of the besieged centre from Islamic al Shabaab militants. Below are the main news updates.
- A Kenyan government spokesman said late on Monday night that the three-day siege was “nearing the end” and that security forces were “sanitising the mall”. All hostages there were believed to have been evacuated.
- By late afternoon, officials said security forces had “taken control of all the floors” of the mall. “We’re not here to feed the attackers with pastries but to finish and punish them,” Police Inspector General David Kimaiyo wrote on Twitter.
- Earlier, Kenya’s Interior Ministry said that two attackers had been killed and some additional hostages had been freed around 1pm.
- The police said that 10 people had been arrested in connection with the mall attack.
- Two Frenchwomen are among the victims, while British Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed that six Britons had also been killed.
- At around 12 noon, thick black smoke was seen rising from the shopping mall after several loud explosions were heard.
- Heavy gunfire and explosions were heard starting at 6:30am, suggesting a final assault by security forces had started. The initial gunfire exchange was followed by other sporadic bursts later in the morning.
- The Kenya Red Cross raised the death toll from the deadly attack to 62 people, adding that 63 more were still reported missing.
- The Kenyan government said it had rescued a majority of people, or over 1,000 people, from inside the mall. It was unclear how many hostages remained inside.
- Panic momentarily gripped an informal triage and press centre near the Westgate mall, following concerns by the military linked to unidentified individuals running near the complex.
- There has been an outpouring of support for victims and security forces from Kenyan citizens, many of whom lined up outside blood donation centres at the start of the work week.
- Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court in The Hague adjourned for one week the human rights abuses trial against Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto, in view of the crisis back home. Ruto was expected to fly home on Monday.
For videos, pictures and relevant tweets from earlier today see the live blog below.