NAIROBI, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- The terror attack that hit an upscale shopping mall in Kenya's capital city on Saturday has killed 59 people, Kenya's cabinet secretary in charge of internal security Joseph Ole Lenku said on Sunday.
He said the operation is "delicate" as there are still hostages in the mall. He made the remarks after the standoff between gunmen and security forces has been ongoing for more than 20 hours.
The militant group Al-Shabaab has claimed the responsibility for the attack.
More Special Force personnel have been called in around the popular Westgate shopping mall to back up police and troops trying to end the siege.
Lenku said there are still people inside the building, where the Kenyan security forces have control of the first and second floors, while gunmen are holding hostages on the third and fourth floors.
The official did not elaborate on the number of hostages holed up in the mall which is frequented mostly by foreigners and rich Kenyans.
According to the latest reports, the slain foreign victims include Canadians, French nationals and a Chinese.
The Kenyan authorities said 10 to 15 attackers were killed in the shootout.