Kenyan Goverment Says besieged West Gate mall Is Under Control


Keny’s interior ministry has announced that troops are “in control” of the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, with all the hostages believed to have been freed after a deadly siege that killed at least 62 people.
A government spokesman told AFP news agency that the three-day-long siege was close to being declared over. He said special forces combing the building were no longer encountering any resistance.
“Our special forces are inside the building checking the rooms. We think that everyone, the hostages, have been evacuated, but we don’t want to take any chances,” Manoah Esipisu, a government spokesman, said.
“We’re in control of Westgate,” the interior ministry said in a message on Twitter.
Somali armed group, al-Shabab, has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack that has also left almost 200 wounded.
Kenya’s foreign minister, Amina Mohamed, discusses the attacks in an exclusive interview
But in an exclusive interviewon Monday, Kenya’s Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed told Al Jazeera that that al-Qaeda was responsible for the attack.
Al-Shabab was not acting alone and that it was part of an international terrorism campaign, Mohamed said.
She said that about 20 gunmen and women were behind the attack, and that both the victims and perpetrators came from a variety of nationalities.
In a speech on Monday, the Somali president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, described Shabab as a threat to the world.
“They are a threat to the continent of Africa, and the world at large,” he said.
‘Despicable and beastly’
Al-Shabab and al-Qaeda announced their alliance in in February last year, and Abu Omar, a Somali-a-based al-Shabab commander, confirmed in an interview with Al Jazeerathat his group is taking orders from al-Qaeda.
Earlier on Monday, explosions and heavy gunfire were reported and also fires broke out as soldiers stormed the mall where suspected al-Shabaab fighters were believed to be holed up.
The siege began midday on Saturday, when the gunmen marched into the complex, firing grenades and automatic weapons and sending panicked shoppers fleeing.
At least 11 Kenyan troops were wounded in intense gun battles on Monday, the army said.
Police said they had also arrested more than 10 people for questioning.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, whose nephew was killed along with his fiancee, called the attack “despicable and beastly”.
Al-Shabab said the carnage was in retaliation for Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia.
“If you want Kenya in peace, it will not happen as long as your boys are in our lands,” rebel spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage said in a statement posted online.
Shocked witnesses said the gunmen tried to weed out non-Muslims for execution by interrogating people on their religion or asking them to recite the Muslim profession of faith.
The dead include six Britons, two French women, two Canadians including a diplomat, a Chinese woman, two Indians, a South Korean, a South African and a Dutch woman, according to their governments.
Also killed was Ghanaian poet and former UN envoy Kofi Awoonor, 78, while his son was injured.
World powers condemned the chilling attack, the worst in Nairobi since an al-Qaeda bombing at the US embassy killed more than 200 people in 1998.
US President Barack Obama called Kenyatta offering “whatever law enforcement support that is necessary”, calling the attack a “terrible outrage,” while UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the violence was “totally reprehensible”.

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