World News

Kenyan President Declares Three Days of Mourning

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has declared three days of mourning for victims of the attack on a Nairobi mall by Islamist militants.

In a nationally televised speech, Mr. Kenyatta said 61 civilians and six soldiers died in the attack. He said five militants were killed and that Kenyan authorities have 11 suspects in custody.

The president indicated the siege at the Westgate shopping center was over.

Kenyan police and military forces have spent more than two days attempting to clear the mall of any remaining militants. Sporadic gunfire and explosions could be heard from inside the building throughout daylight hours in Nairobi Tuesday.

The al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab, which claimed responsibility for Saturday's attack, said earlier that its fighters were still holding hostages in the mall.



U.S. President Barack Obama commented on the attack during a Tuesday speech before the U.N. General Assembly. He said the Kenya siege and recent attacks in Pakistan and Iraq show that while al-Qaida may have splintered into regional networks and militias, it still posed a serious threat across the globe.

On Twitter, al-Shabab called again on Tuesday for Kenya remove its forces from Somalia in exchange for peace at home. Kenya has rejected that demand.

Kenyan forces entered neighboring Somalia two years ago to help rout al-Shabab, which has been fighting to turn Somalia into a conservative Islamic state. Al-Shabab militants often crossed the border to stage attacks in Kenya.

Kenyan officials say they believe the gunmen who stormed the Westgate shopping center came from several nations.

Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed told the PBS Newshour that two or three Americans of Somali or Arab origin and a British national took part in the attack.

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

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta vows to stand firm against terrorism and punish those behind the attack "swiftly" and "very painfully." The president said his nephew and the young man's fiancee were among those killed.

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