Some Kenya hostages freed - police

2013-09-23 13:48
A soldier takes up a position outside an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi after a gun attack. (Jason Straziuso, AP)

A soldier takes up a position outside an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi after a gun attack. (Jason Straziuso, AP)

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Kenya attack - mall layout

2013-09-23 13:06

As The Red Cross confirms 69 have been killed in the shopping mall attack, Sky News looks at how the gunmen may have entered the Westgate Mall in Nairobi.WATCH

Nairobi - Security forces have freed some but not all of the hostages in the Nairobi shopping mall siege, Kenya's police chief said on Monday, shortly after a series of loud blasts.

"Thumbs up to our multi-agency team, we have just managed to rescue some hostages," police chief David Kimaiyo said in a message on Twitter on the third day of the standoff.

"We're increasingly gaining advantage of the attackers."

Thick clouds of dense black smoke billowed from the complex after a series of loud explosions and heavy gunfire, an AFP correspondent at the scene said.

The area around the mall was teeming with Kenyan soldiers and armoured personnel carriers, as emergency workers and reporters were told to take cover.

Ambulances were also seen accelerating towards the scene as aircraft flew overhead.

The mall has been under siege by al-Qaeda-linked Somali gunmen since Saturday in an attack that has killed at least 59 people, with another 63 reported missing.

A Kenyan special forces officer told AFP troops had moved in to end the siege with force.

"I saw them only once, I could not see them much," he said. "It was hide-and-seek, hide-and-seek, hide-and-seek. In the end we had to use full force, we had to finish with these guys."
Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  kenya  |  kenya mall attack  |  east africa

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