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Tuesday 23 January 2018

Terrorists defeated, says Kenya

Heavy smoke rises from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya (AP)
Heavy smoke rises from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya (AP)
Kenya security personnel take cover outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi (AP)
Kenya troops take their positions outside a shopping mall in Nairobi (AP)
Kenya security personnel move to their positions (AP)

The terrorists who took control of a Nairobi mall and held off Kenyan security forces for four days have been defeated after killing at least 67 civilians and government troops, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta says.

Those killed include 61 civilians whose bodies have been recovered so far and six security forces, while nearly 200 were injured, including 62 who remain in hospital.

Three floors of the mall collapsed and several bodies were trapped in the rubble, said Mr Kenyatta. His office later said a terrorist's body was among those in the debris.

Five other attackers were killed by gunfire, he said.

"We have ashamed and defeated our attackers," he said in the televised address to the nation.

He said 11 other suspects had been arrested; authorities had previously announced the arrest of seven at the airport and three elsewhere.

"These cowards will need justice as well their accomplices and patrons, wherever they are," Mr Kenyatta said.

He declared three days of national mourning starting tomorrow.

Kenyan forces had for more than two days said they were in the "final phase" of the operation, only to be battled back by the militants inside the building.

Explosions rang from the upmarket Westgate mall in Nairobi throughout the day, and the chatter of gunfire from inside the building could also be heard. Fresh smoke rose from the building in the afternoon. The Kenyan Red Cross had previously said 62 people had been killed, and it seemed certain that the number of confirmed deaths would rise as security forces comb the building.

Press Association

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