Kenyan president: Terrorists beaten
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta appears in a televised address to the nation on Tuesday to declare Kenyan security forces have defeated a small group of terrorists after four days of fighting at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi. In the televised address Kenyatta said the attack had left at least 240 casualties, including some 61 dead civilians and six of his security forces, with at least five terrorists killed and another 11 suspects taken into custody. Kenyatta declared three days of national mourning. AP PHOTO
NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenya’s president proclaimed victory Tuesday over the terrorists who stormed a Nairobi mall, saying security forces had “ashamed and defeated our attackers” following a bloody four-day siege in which dozens of civilians were killed.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said the dead included 61 civilians whose bodies have been recovered so far and six security forces, while some 175 were injured, including 62 who remain hospitalized.
Three floors of the mall collapsed and several bodies were trapped in the rubble, said Kenyatta. His office later said a terrorist’s body was among those in the debris.
Five other extremists were killed by gunfire and another 11 other suspects had been arrested, he said; authorities had previously announced the arrest of seven at the airport and three elsewhere.
“These cowards will meet justice as well their accomplices and patrons, wherever they are,” Kenyatta said, in a televised address to the nation.
At the Westgate mall, there were no immediate signs of the Kenyan Security forces closing their operation.
Two Kenyan soldiers who had recently been inside the mall told The Associated Press shortly before the president spoke that the operation was effectively finished, but they said security forces were still combing the facility and had not definitively cleared all the rooms inside.
Explosions rang from the upscale Westgate mall in Nairobi throughout Tuesday, and the chatter of gunfire from inside the building could also be heard.
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 search the building.
Kenyan Red Cross spokesman Abbas Gullet said it was still not known how many more may be dead inside the building.
“It is certainly known that there are more casualties,” he said.