|All quiet at Kenya mall after 62 fatalities
Kenyan troops are “in control'' of Nairobi's part-Israeli owned Westgate shopping mall, the interior ministry announced overnight. All the hostages trapped by Islamist gunmen are believed to have been freed.
A government spokesman told AFP the three-day-long siege, in which the attackers massacred at least 62 shoppers and staff, was close to being declared over. He said special forces combing the building were no longer encountering any resistance.
“Our special forces are inside the building checking the rooms. We think that everyone, the hostages, have been evacuated, but we don't want to take any chances,'' Manoah Esipisu said.
After a day of gunfire, explosions and black smoke that billowed over the Kenyan capital, the vast center was quiet, an AFP reporter at the scene said.
“We're in control of Westgate,'' the interior ministry said in a message on Twitter.
No details on the numbers of hostages released have been given, but 63 people were earlier recorded missing by the Red Cross, a figure thought to include hostages as well as those possibly killed. Almost 200 were wounded.
Special forces Monday also killed at least three gunmen and wounded several in bitter fighting in the part Israeli-owned complex, popular with wealthy Kenyans and expatriates. A Kenyan security source and a Western intelligence official said Israeli forces were also involved in operations, along with British and US agents.