Kenyan police search mall wreckage after militant attack

By REUTERS
September 25, 2013 14:14
1 minute read.

NAIROBI - Bomb disposal experts and investigators searched through the wreckage of a Kenyan shopping mall on Wednesday after a four-day attack by Islamist militants that killed at least 72 people.

President Uhuru Kenyatta declared three days of mourning after troops defeated the al-Qaida-linked al Shabaab group that targeted the upscale shopping center popular with prosperous Kenyans and foreigners.

The militants stormed the mall, known for its Western shops selling iPads and Nike shoes, in a hail of gunfire and grenades on Saturday lunchtime. The attack ended on Tuesday when Kenyan troops set off a series of explosions inside the building.

Kenyatta said five militants and six security personnel were killed and 61 civilians had so far been confirmed dead but an unknown number of corpses are buried under the masonry.

Three floors collapsed after the blasts and a separate fire weakened the structure of the vaulted, marble-tiled building. Officials said the blaze was due to militants lighting mattresses as a decoy.

"Forensic investigators are on the site now," said a senior official from the National Disaster Operations Center, speaking near the mall and adding that foreign agents were on the scene. He did not identify the agents.


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