NAIROBI, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Most of the hostages held by gunmen in Nairobi's upscale Westgate shopping mall have been rescued, Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) spokesman Cyrus Oguna said Sunday.
The KDF also said in an online post that "security forces have taken control of most parts of the building."
Outside the mall, gunshots were heard near Visa Oshwal Religion and Culture Center, the nearest help center where Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) staff, soldiers, volunteers and journalists stay, according to Xinhua reporters at the site.
They said police are seeking the armed man who was suspected to have opened fire toward KRCS staff and police. KRCS staff asked journalists to lie down and not to go out.
The latest development came more than 30 hours after masked gunmen carried out a shooting spree in the mall on Saturday morning, the bloodiest attack in the country since 1998.
The militants from Somalia have claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it is retaliation for Kenya's military intervention in Somalia. An Al-Shabaab spokesman said in an audio message, "Either leave our country or live with constant attacks."
Al-Shabaab said via social network Twitter that it had warned of consequences when Kenyan soldiers entered southern Somalia to fight the militants. The group used the hashtag #Westgate, saying it was a revenge attack.
But Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta dismissed the threat, saying their days were numbered. "This is one attempt that has succeeded. There have been numerous threats which have been neutralized in the past," he said.
The KRCS on Sunday said the death toll in the terror attack has soared to 68 after nine more bodies are recovered at the building, and more than 175 others were wounded.
The Chinese embassy in Kenya confirmed on Sunday that a 38-year-old Chinese female had been killed, and her 13-year-old child injured in the attack. The child is currently receiving treatment in hospital.
Kenyatta said gunmen had killed his nephew and the nephew's fiancee.
Among the slain foreigners were also at least two French nationals, two Canadians, three Britons, one Australian, one Ghanaian and one South African.
The attack has immediately aroused strong condemnation from the international community.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday slammed the deadly terrorist attack earlier in the day, calling the act "totally reprehensible."
Ban spoke with Kenyatta by phone and extended his condolences to the families of the deceased and the wounded
International police organization Interpol in a Saturday statement strongly condemned the deadly assault and pledged Interpol's full support for Kenyan authorities in their investigation.
U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday called Kenyatta to express his condolences to the government and people of Kenya. He also reaffirmed the shared commitment between the United States and Kenya to combating terrorism.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei announced Sunday that China strongly condemns the terrorist attack in Nairobi and supports Kenya's effort to safeguard national security and regional stability.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, on Sunday reiterated the AU's commitment to continue working with its member states and partners to combat terrorism throughout the continent and stabilize the situation in Somalia.
She also extended the AU's heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, wishing the injured a speedy recovery.
NAIROBI, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's military authorities confirmed early Monday that a siege to rescue hostages still holed up in the Westgate mall after terrorist attacks on Saturday may to come to an end soon as death toll rose to 68.
Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) spokesman Col. Cyrus Oguna said they have been able to rescue most of the people from the shopping, noting that no more than 10 hostages are left in the building. Full story
NAIROBI, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Kenya Red Cross Society said on Sunday that death toll in an terror attack in a shopping mall in Kenya's capital Nairobi has soared to 68 after nine more bodies are recovered at the building.
Fresh gunfire erupted from time to time in the mall on Sunday as Kenyans security forces are trying to push on and rescue hostages holed up by up to 15 gunmen for over 24 hours at the upscale mall frequented by wealthy Kenyans and foreigners.Full story
NAIROBI, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday ruled out withdrawing soldiers from Somalia to refute pressure from Al-Shabaab gunmen, who launched a deadly attack the previous day on a popular mall in retaliation for the Kenyan intervention.
Addressing a joint news conference by opposition leaders in Nairobi, Kenyatta said Kenya will not relent in its resolve to fight global terrorism after the insurgents claimed responsibility for Saturday's attacks.Full story