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Nairobi attack: Kenya forces ‘clearing’ Westgate centre

Kenyan security forces say they are in the final stages of clearing the Westgate shopping complex in Nairobi, and ending the deadly three-day siege.

Explosions and heavy gunfire were reported earlier as soldiers stormed the mall, where suspected al-Shabab militants are thought to be holed up.

The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) said three “terrorists” had been killed and all escape routes sealed off.

Flames and thick smoke continued to rise from the complex as darkness fell.

‘Under control’

The KDF said the fire had been started by “terrorists to distract the ongoing operation”, and that the blaze was being managed by firefighters.

The official death toll stands at 62 and more than 170 have been injured. There are fears the death toll will rise further.

British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said that his best estimate was that six Britons had been killed.

The Somali Islamist al-Shabab movement has said it carried out the attack in retaliation for Kenyan military operations in Somalia.

“The terrorists could be running and hiding in some stores, but all floors now are under our control,” Kenyan Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said.

“There is no room for escape.”

He told the BBC late on Monday that the operation would continue overnight, but stressed it was in its final stages.

The minister added that “it is very unlikely that there are any hostages” left in the complex.

President Barack Obama said the US was offering its full support to the Kenyan authorities.

Kenya is one of the largest recipients of US security assistance in sub-Saharan Africa, with much of that aid focused on counter-terrorism.

Read full story on BBC News

Category: World News |

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Last updated March 24, 2017 at 2:14 PM
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