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30 Killed in Attack on Upscale Mall in Kenyan Capital



Kenya's Red Cross says at least 30 people were killed and 60 others wounded in a terrorist attack on an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi. The Somali extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the assault.

Gunmen opened fire and tossed hand grenades Saturday at the Westgate Mall in Kenya's capital. Children were among the wounded.

The mall was packed with hundreds of shoppers at the time.

Security forces and police battled the gunmen in an attempt to rescue an unknown number of people trapped in the mall, which is popular with wealthy Kenyans and foreigners. However, there has been no official confirmation of hostages being taken.

The Somali extremist group al-Shabab claimed in messages posted on Twitter that its "mujahideen" carried out the assault in retaliation for Kenya's military intervention in Somalia.

Al-Shabab said it had warned in the past that that Kenya's military presence in Somalia would bring "severe consequences." The militants said via Twitter that the bloodshed at the mall in Nairobi is only a "very tiny fraction" of the violence that has been inflicted on Muslims in Somalia.



Kenyan forces crossed into Somalia two years ago to fight al-Shabab militants.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said there are reports of Americans injured in the attack, but no further details were immediately available. She condemned what she called a "senseless act of violence."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm about the attack and spoke to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta about it.

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