News / Africa

61 Still Missing from Kenya Mall Attack

An image grab taken from footage released by the Kenyan military on Sept. 26, 2013 shows the extent of the damage to Nairobi's Westgate Mall after the four-day siege. An image grab taken from footage released by the Kenyan military on Sept. 26, 2013 shows the extent of the damage to Nairobi's Westgate Mall after the four-day siege.
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An image grab taken from footage released by the Kenyan military on Sept. 26, 2013 shows the extent of the damage to Nairobi's Westgate Mall after the four-day siege.
An image grab taken from footage released by the Kenyan military on Sept. 26, 2013 shows the extent of the damage to Nairobi's Westgate Mall after the four-day siege.
VOA News
Forensic teams in Kenya are digging through the rubble of a partially collapsed shopping mall in Nairobi, searching for more victims of the attack by Somali militant group al-Shabab.

The Kenyan Red Cross said Thursday that 61 people remain missing from the four-day siege at the Westgate mall.

The official death toll from the siege stands at 72.

Meanwhile, al-Shabab has repeated its warning that violence will continue until Kenyan troops leave Somalia -- a demand that Kenya has refused.

In a Twitter message late Wednesday, group leader Moktar Abu Zubayr, also known as Godane, said Kenya should prepare for "an abundance of blood" and "economic downfall."  

"There is no way that you, the Kenyan public, could possibly endure a prolonged war in Somalia, and you cannot also withstand a war of attrition inside your own country," he said.

He also blasted "Western states" that supported Kenya's incursion.

  • Smoke rises from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Sept. 25 2013. 
  • Catholic nuns pray near the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Sept. 25, 2013.
  • Fresh graves of Westgate Mall shooting victims in a cemetery in Nairobi, Sept. 25, 2013. 
  • Kenyan security forces stand on the top floor of a building facing the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Sept. 25, 2013.
  • Mary Italo, center, grieves with other relatives for her son Thomas Abayo Italo, 33, who was killed in the Westgate Mall attack, as they wait to receive his body at the mortuary in Nairobi, Kenya, Sept. 25, 2013. 
  • Kenya Defense Forces soldiers take their position at the Westgate Mall, on the fourth day since militants stormed into the mall, in Nairobi, Sept. 24, 2013.
  • Heavy smoke rises from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Sept. 23, 2013.
  • Paramedics run outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi after heavy shooting, Sept. 23, 2013.
  • People donate blood for people injured in the attack at the Westgate Mall, at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, Sept. 23, 2013.
  • Stephen, center, who lost his father in Saturday's attack at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, is comforted by relatives as he waits for the post mortem exam at the city morgue, Sept. 23, 2013.
  • Women carrying children run for safety as armed police hunt gunmen at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Sept. 21, 2013.
  • Civilians who had been hiding inside during the gun battle manage to flee from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Sept. 21, 2013.

Kenyan forces entered neighboring Somalia two years ago to help fight al-Shabab, which has been fighting to turn Somalia into a strict Islamic state.

On Thursday, al-Shabab claimed responsibility for an attack that killed two people in Mandera, a town near the Kenyan-Somali border.  

On Wednesday, at least one person was killed in a separate attack in the town of Wajir.  

Meanwhile, the international police agency Interpol has issued a "wanted" alert for a British woman reported to be a suspect in the attack.

Media reports have said 29-year-old Samantha Lewthwaite may have been involved in the attack.

The Interpol notice made no mention of the mall but the agency said it issued the alert at the request of authorities in Kenya, where Lewthwaite is wanted on charges of possession of explosives and conspiracy to commit a felony.

Lewthwaite is known as the "White Widow."  Her husband was one of the bombers in the London terror attacks of July 2005 that killed more than 50 people.

Flags are 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.

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