NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Even though Kenya's government has offered assurances that it is bringing an end to the hostage siege at a shopping mall in Nairobi, the sights and sounds from there today indicate that it may be far from over.
Explosions have been heard from the Westgate Mall throughout the day, along with gunfire. The Islamic militants who carried out Saturday's deadly attack on the mall said earlier today that hostages were still alive there, and that their fighters were "still holding their ground."
A soldier emerging from the mall said the operation was "finished," but then conceded that government forces are still trying to secure the entire interior.
The Kenyan Red Cross confirmed today that at least 62 people had been killed, but a spokesman said it's not known how many more may be dead inside the mall. He said, "It is certainly known that there are more casualties." And a government official says the morgue in Nairobi is preparing for up to an additional 60 bodies.
A U.S. Embassy vehicle arrived at the morgue today. American officials haven't confirmed the deaths of any U.S. citizens in the mall attack, but it appeared possible that the Americans who visited the morgue could have been seeking information about one of the bodies inside.
141-c-14-(Jason Straziuso (straz-YOO'-soh), AP correspondent)-"soon to rise"-AP correspondent Jason Straziuso reports that the tally of victims in the Nairobi mall attack is expected to climb as the process of moving bodies to the city morgue begins. (24 Sep 2013)
<<CUT *141 (09/24/13)££ 00:14 "soon to rise"
143-c-16-(Jason Straziuso (straz-YOO'-soh), AP correspondent)-"loose in there"-AP correspondent Jason Straziuso reports that the operation to clear the Westgate mall isn't over yet. (24 Sep 2013)
<<CUT *143 (09/24/13)££ 00:16 "loose in there"
GRAPHICSBANK: Kenyan army soldiers patrol near the Westgate Mall, Nairobi, Kenya, graphic element on gray (24 Sep 2013)
APPHOTO ABC107: Kenyan soldiers run through a corridor on an upper floor, shortly after 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) (24 Sep 2013)
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APPHOTO AAS102: Kenyan army soldiers patrol 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 third day Monday in what they said was a final push to rescue the last few hostages in a siege that has left at least 62 people dead. (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim) (24 Sep 2013)
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