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Relatives of Johnny Mutinda Musango, 48, weep after identifying his body at the city morgue  in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday Sept. 24 2013. Musango was one of the victims of the Westgate Mall hostage siege. Kenyan security forces were still combing the Mall on the fourth day of the siege by al-Qaida-linked terrorists. (AP Photo/ Jerome Delay)
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta appears in a televised address to the nation Tuesday Sept. 24, 2013, 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 / KTN TV) TV OUT - KENYA OUT Armed police leave by vehicle at night from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. 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 said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis) A Kenyan soldier runs through a corridor on an upper floor, shortly before an explosion was heard, at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. Kenyan officials say three soldiers have died and eight others have been injured in a fight with militants who attacked an upscale mall in Nairobi. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis) Ann Gakii, left,  reacts at the Nairobi City Mortuary after identifying the body of her father, who was killed in the mall attack,  in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. Islamic militants who staged a deadly attack on a Kenya mall said Tuesday hostages are still alive and fighters are “still holding their ground,” as Nairobi’s city morgue prepared for the arrival of a large number of bodies of people killed, an official said.  (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi) Kenyan security forces are seen at the entrance of the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday Sept. 24 2013. Gunfire has erupted sporadically on the fourth day of a hostage siege. Security forces have been attempting to rescue an unknown number of hostages inside the mall held by al-Qaida-linked terrorists. (AP Photo/ Jerome Delay) Kenyan security forces are seen at the entrance of the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday Sept. 24 2013. Gunfire has erupted sporadically on the fourth day of a hostage siege. Security forces have been attempting to rescue an unknown number of hostages inside the mall held by al-Qaida-linked terrorists. (AP Photo/ Jerome Delay) A Kenya Defence Force soldier heavily armed as he carries an anti tank launcher on his back, as he takes a break to have snack at Oshwal Centre near the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013.  Kenyan security forces battled al-Qaida-linked terrorists in an upscale mall for a fourth day. Another explosion and more gunfire could be heard coming from the mall in the early hours of Tuesday morning.(AP Photo/Sayyid Azim) A Kenya Defence Force soldier heavily armed as he carries an anti tank launcher on his back, as he takes a break to have snack at Oshwal Centre near the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013.  Kenyan security forces battled al-Qaida-linked terrorists in an upscale mall for a fourth day. Another explosion and more gunfire could be heard coming from the mall in the early hours of Tuesday morning.(AP Photo/Sayyid Azim) Kenya security forces are seen behind a wall outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Monday morning, Sept. 23, 2013. Kenya's military launched a major operation at the upscale Nairobi mall and said it had rescued A Kenyan security forces  sniper aims at the Westgate Mall  from an adjacent building in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday Sept. 24 2013. Gunfire has erupted sporadically on the fourth day of a hostage siege. Security forces have been attempting to rescue an unknown number of hostages inside the mall held by al-Qaida-linked terrorists. (AP Photo/ Jerome Delay) A Kenyan security forces  sniper aims at the Westgate Mall  from an adjacent building in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday Sept. 24 2013. Gunfire has erupted sporadically on the fourth day of a hostage siege. Security forces have been attempting to rescue an unknown number of hostages inside the mall held by al-Qaida-linked terrorists. (AP Photo/ Jerome Delay) Family members, react,  outside the Nairobi City Mortuary in Nairobi mourn the death of loved ones killed in the Westgate attack in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. Islamic militants who staged a deadly attack on a Kenya mall said Tuesday hostages are still alive and fighters are “still holding their ground,” as Nairobi’s city morgue prepared for the arrival of a large number of bodies of people killed, an official said.  (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi) Kenya Defence Force soldiers move towards the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013.  Kenyan security forces battled al-Qaida-linked terrorists in an upscale mall for a fourth day. Another explosion and more gunfire could be heard coming from the mall in the early hours of Tuesday morning.(AP Photo/Sayyid Azim) Relatives and friends of the people still reported missing in the Westgate attack, wait for information on loved-ones at Oshwal Centre near the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013.  Kenyan security forces battled al-Qaida-linked terrorists in an upscale mall for a fourth day. Another explosion and more gunfire could be heard coming from the mall in the early hours of Tuesday morning. (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim) A Kenyan security forces soldier walks towards the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday Sept. 24 2013. Gunfire has erupted sporadically on the fourth day of a hostage siege. Security forces have been attempting to rescue an unknown number of hostages inside the mall held by al-Qaida-linked terrorists (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim) A TV journalist reports from Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday Sept. 24 2013, in front of a commercial advert from a popular supermarket in the Westgate Mall under siege. Kenyan security forces were still combing the Mall on the fourth day of the siege by al-Qaida-linked terrorists.(AP Photo/Riccardo Gangale) Ramesh Vaya, right, lights the funeral pyre of his wife Malti, who was shot dead in the attack on the Westgate Mall, at her funeral at the Hindu Crematorium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. Ramesh and his brother both lost their wives in the attack. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta says security forces have finally defeated a small group of terrorists after four days of fighting at the Nairobi mall. (AP Photo/Kate Holt) In this photo released by Kenya's Presidency, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, center, flanked by Deputy President William Ruto, left, and other senior Government and Security officials, makes a television address to the nation from State House in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. Kenyatta says security forces have finally defeated a small group of terrorists after four days of fighting at the Nairobi mall. (AP Photo/Kenya Presidency) Relatives of Johnny Mutinda Musango, 48, weep after identifying his body at the city morgue  in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday Sept. 24 2013. Musango was one of the victims of the Westgate Mall hostage siege. Kenyan security forces were still combing the Mall on the fourth day of the siege by al-Qaida-linked terrorists. (AP Photo/ Jerome Delay) Zipporah Mureithi, 34, centre, is helped by relatives as she weeps after identifying the body of her father Paul, 56, at the city morgue in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday Sept. 24 2013.  Paul was one of the victims of the Westgate Mall hostage siege. Kenyan security forces are still combing the Mall on the fourth day of the siege by al-Qaida-linked terrorists. (AP Photo/ Jerome Delay) Indian sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik, foreground left and his team pay tributes to the victims of the terror attack on a Kenya mall by creating a sand sculpture on the Bay of Bengal coast in Puri, Orissa state, India, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Biswaranjan Rout)

Kenyan president: Terrorists defeated


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.

Kenyatta has visited wounded survivors in hospital and made other emotion-filled speeches about the terrorist attack, which has been the harshest test of his leadership since he became president in April.

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.

Kenyan forces had for 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 upscale Westgate mall in Nairobi throughout Tuesday, 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 search the building.

Nairobi’s city morgue had already braced for the arrival of a large number of bodies of people killed, an official said.

Kenyan Red Cross spokesman Abbas Gullet said it was still not known how many more may be dead inside the building. A government official told The Associated Press that the morgue was preparing for up to an additional 60 bodies, though the official didn’t know an exact count.

Earlier Tuesday the al-Qaida-linked attackers used social media to give accounts of the fighting inside the mall that conflicted with the government reports.

“There are countless number of dead bodies still scattered inside the mall, and the mujahideen are still holding their ground,” the Somali rebel group al-Shabab said in one Twitter message considered to be genuine.

It added it still held hostages, who were “still alive looking quite disconcerted but, nevertheless, alive.”

Kenyatta did not mention the fate of the hostages — if it was indeed true that there were still some being held — in his address.

Al-Shabab, whose name means “The Youth” in Arabic, said the mall attack was in retribution for Kenyan forces’ 2011 push into neighboring Somalia. African Union forces pushed the al-Qaida-affiliated group out of Somalia’s capital in 2011.

“You could have avoided all this and lived your lives with relative safety,” the group Tweeted Tuesday. “Remove your forces from our country and peace will come.”

Kenyatta said “initial reports had suggested that a British woman and two or three American citizens may have been involved in the attack,” but that “we cannot confirm the details at the moment.

He said experts were working to try and determine the nationalities of the terrorists.

Earlier, Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed had said “two or three Americans” and “one Brit” were among those who attacked the mall.

A security expert with contacts inside the mall described the attackers as “a multinational collection from all over the world.”

U.S. officials said they were looking into whether any Americans were involved. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday that the department had “no definitive evidence of the nationalities or the identities” of the attackers.

Britain’s foreign office said it was aware of the Kenyan foreign minister’s remarks, but would not confirm if a British woman was involved.

Al-Shabab, responding to a request from AP, denied that any women had attacked the mall, saying “these are just baseless rumors.”

“We have an adequate number of young men who fully committed and ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of Allah and for the sake of their religion,” said the al-Shabab press office in what is thought to be an authentic email address.

The attack began on Saturday when an estimated 12 to 15 al-Shabab militants invaded the mall, wielding grenades and firing on civilians inside the complex, which includes shops for Nike, Adidas and Bose and is popular with foreigners and wealthy Kenyans.

The militants specifically targeted non-Muslims, and at least 18 foreigners were among the dead, including six Britons, as well as citizens from France, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, Peru, India, Ghana, South Africa and China. Nearly 200 people were wounded, including five Americans.

A U.S. Embassy vehicle, identifiable by its numbered diplomatic license plate, arrived at the morgue on Tuesday. American officials have not confirmed the deaths of any U.S. citizens in the mall attack, but it appeared possible the Americans who visited the morgue — likely security officials with an agency like the FBI — could have been seeking information about one of the bodies inside.

The attack at the Westgate mall in Nairobi’s Westlands neighborhood was the deadliest terrorist attack in Kenya since the 1998 al-Qaida truck bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, which killed more than 200 people.

———

Associated Press reporters Jason Straziuso, Rodney Muhumuza, Ben Curtis, Adam Schreck and Jacob Kushner in Nairobi, Kenya, Cassandra Vinograd in London, and Abdi Guled in Mogadishu, Somalia, contributed to this report.



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