Kenyan government officials now claim that they have taken control of Westgate Mall in Nairobi after four days of terror. The security forces had been attempting to rescue the estimated ten remaining hostages held by cornered members of the Somali al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab. The coroner in Nairobi has been told to prepare to receive perhaps as many as 60 bodies still left unrecovered thus far in the mall:
Kenyan authorities have claimed “full control” of the Westgate Mall in Nairobi as they sweep the shopping center for any remaining terrorists, hostages still in hiding and dead bodies four days after an al Qaeda-linked rebel group launched an attack that left at least 62 people dead and 175 injured.
“The West Gate Mall is under the full control of gov’t forces and we are carrying out a sweep to ensure its safe for everyone,” Kenyan police tweeted today on their official Twitter account.
Kenya’s Foreign Minister confirmed that security forces believe at least two and possibly three of the attackers are American:
Kenya’s Foreign Minister told PBS Monday night that “two or three Americans” were involved in the attack on the upscale mall. Speaking in New York, Amina Mohamed said a British woman was also among the perpetrators.
She’s the first official to publicly allege that U.S. nationals were involved in the attack. The FBI says it has been unable to verify that, and other Kenyan officials have said no women were involved, only men dressed as women.
Has the standoff ended? CNN isn’t quite sure yet:
Neither is the Associate Press, which has raw video outside the mall from earlier today, where the sound of a gun battle could clearly be heard:
Let’s hope the Kenyan government isn’t just being optimistic.