September 23, 2013 - 10:02 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Kenya's Red Cross says the death toll from the militant attack on an upscale mall in the country's capital has risen to 68, The Associated Press said.
In a statement Sunday, September 22 the Red Cross said nine more bodies were recovered in a joint rescue mission. Officials say more than 175 people were wounded in the attack.
Gunmen used grenades and assault rifles in Saturday's attack at the Westgate mall in Nairobi. Somali militant group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack.
An estimated 10 to 15 militants remain in the shopping mall holding an unknown number of captives. The Kenyan military has entered the four-story mall and there have been sporadic gun battles. Some Kenyan military were seen carrying in at least two rocket propelled grenades. Earlier military helicopters hovered over the mall.
"All efforts are underway to bring this matter to a speedy conclusion," the Kenyan military announced on Twitter, CNN reported.
It said that "most of the hostages have been rescued and security forces have taken control of most parts of the building."
Earlier, police had tweeted that a "MAJOR assault" by security forces was ongoing.
The developments come some two days after Al-Shabaab militants first stormed the shopping center, spraying bullets and unleashing chaos.
The mall siege was the deadliest terror attack in Kenya since al-Qaeda blew up the U.S. Embassy there in 1998, killing 213 people.
Al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda's proxy in Somalia, claimed responsibility, and said it was not backing down. In a message on its Twitter feed, the group said "all Muslims" were escorted from the mall before the attack.