MOGADISHU, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- The reclusive leader of the Somali Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab on Wednesday threatened more bloodshed to press for the pullout of Kenyan troops from the Horn of African country.
The threat came one day after Kenya declared triumph over a group of Al-Shabaab gunmen, who stormed the Westgate shopping mall in the capital Nairobi on Saturday to start a four-day standoff with security forces.
In an audio massage, Al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane said his fighters launched the attack on Westgate to retaliate Kenya's troop presence in southern Somalia.
Godane, also known as Abu Zubeyr, told Kenyans to withdraw their troops from Somalia or face similar attacks.
"Today make a decision and withdraw your troops from Islamic regions (of Somalia); otherwise be ready for more bloodshed in your land economic collapse and displacement," Abu Zubeyr said.
Kenya sent thousands of troops into southern Somalia in October 2011 after Al-Shabaab militants kidnapped foreigners from Kenyan territory.
Kenyan officials put the death toll of the attack at 72, including 61 civilians, six security agents and five terrorists.
The Kenya government has indicated the toll could rise as there might be bodies trapped inside the collapsed building.
The East African country started a three-day national mourning on Wednesday.
The Somali government condemned the attacks as inhumane and heartless, vowing to defeat the Al-Qaida linked group in Somalia.
Thousands of Somalis in Kenya led by Somali Ambassador Mohamed Ali Ameriko distanced themselves from Al-Shabaab by supporting the rescue efforts and donating blood to help the victims.
NAIROBI, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta said on Tuesday that the task to defeat attackers at a shopping mall in Nairobi has been completed after four days of fighting which saw a death toll of 72 people, including five terrorists.
"We have ashamed and defeated our attackers," Kenyatta said in a televised address, noting "that part of task has been completed. " He said five terrorists have been killed and 11 suspects are in custody. Full story