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Investigators Search Kenya Mall for Bodies

  • VOA News

Foreign experts, flanked by military personnel, check the walls around the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Sept. 25, 2013.

Foreign experts, flanked by military personnel, check the walls around the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Sept. 25, 2013.

Forensic experts from Kenya and abroad have been scouring through the wreckage of Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall, where the death toll from a four-day terrorist siege is expected to climb as more bodies are found.

At least 67 people have been confirmed dead so far but the Kenyan Red Cross says more than 70 additional people are missing.

Workers wearing face masks have been examining the wreckage of the partially collapsed mall. Military forces, meanwhile, are on the lookout for any militants who may still be hiding in the mall and for any traps they may have sent.

The al-Qaida-linked Somali militant group al-Shabab says it was behind the attack at Westgate, a large, upscale shopping center popular with foreigners, tourists and wealthy Kenyans.

In a Wednesday briefing, Kenyan Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku appealed for patience as authorities try to determine the identities of the attackers. He said forensic experts from the U.S., Britain, Israel, Germany, Canada and Interpol have joined the investigation.

Flags have been flying at half staff across Kenya after President Uhuru Kenyatta declared three days of mourning for the civilians and security officers killed in the attack. The victims of the attack hailed from more than 10 countries. At least five militants were also killed.

The dead include nationals from Britain, Canada, China, France, Ghana, India and South Korea.

Among those killed was Kofi Awoonor, a prominent Ghanaian poet who had traveled to Nairobi to attend a literary festival.
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