62 Confirmed Dead In Nairobi, Kenya Mall Terror Attack
Nairobi, Kenya (CNN) Heavy gunfire sent aid workers and journalists scrambling outside Nairobi’s Westgate Shopping Mall on Monday afternoon, more than an hour after a Kenyan government official said security forces had taken full control of the four-story building from Islamic terrorists.
It was unclear if any hostages remained inside the building, but authorities expect the number to be “very, very minimal,” if any remain, Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said at a news briefing.
Most had already been evacuated, he said Monday, the third day of the siege.
The Kenyan Red Cross said that 62 people had died since the Saturday attack by gunmen from the Somalia-based Al-Shabaab terror group.
The agency had previously reported 69 deaths. Some bodies had been counted twice, it said on Twitter.
Dark smoke that rose from the building after Monday’s assault was from fires set by the gunmen to distract forces from the assault, Lenku said.
Islamic terrorists appear to be on the run inside the mall, which Lenku said had been sealed off to prevent their escape.
“We are in charge of the situation, our people are safe,” he said.
Kenyan authorities say they have killed three of the terrorists.
The Interior Ministry told CNN that authorities had arrested “around four” people on suspicion of involvement in the attack. The agency later tweeted that more than 10 were arrested. The arrests were made at the airport, the agency said on Twitter.
Eleven Kenya Defense Forces soldiers have been injured, police said on Twitter.
The country’s Immigration Department said in a tweet that it had increased security at entry and exit points.
Before the assault, terrorists were believed to have about 10 hostages on one level of the mall, security officials said.