NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenya's interior minister says officials are "very certain" that there are few, if any, hostages left in an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi that was attacked by terrorists with links to al-Qaida over the weekend.
He says the evacuation of hostages has gone "very, very well."
And the country's chief of defense forces says Kenyan troops are in charge of all floors inside the mall -- though he says terrorists could still be hiding inside.
Four explosions at the mall today were followed by volleys of gunfire, and then a thick, dark column of smoke for about 90 minutes. Top Kenyan officials said two hostage-takers had been killed. They were described as being part of a "multi-national collection from all over the world."
The Kenyan interior minister has revised the death toll from the attack to 62. Kenyan officials earlier said 59 people have died since the siege began on Saturday.
Yesterday, Kenyan officials announced that "most" hostages had been rescued, but no numbers were given. They've never said how many hostages they believed were being held.
174-a-14-(Kenyan Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku (OH'-lay LEHN'-koo), at news conference)-"in the building"-Kenyan Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku says Kenyan security forces have methodically moved through and secured the mall, and he claims that the attackers are left with just a few hostages. COURTESY: KTN ((mandatory on-air credit)) ((note quality)) (23 Sep 2013)
<<CUT *174 (09/23/13)££ 00:14 "in the building"
175-a-08-(Clint Watts, senior fellow, Homeland Security Policy Institute, George Washington University, in AP interview)-"have support networks"-Clint Watts at George Washington University's Homeland Security Policy Institute says the key question now is whether al-Shabab is able to carry out another attack in Kenya or elsewhere. (23 Sep 2013)
<<CUT *175 (09/23/13)££ 00:08 "have support networks"
GRAPHICSBANK: Kenya security personnel take cover outside the Westgate Mall, Nairobi, Kenya, graphic element on gray (23 Sep 2013)
APPHOTO XJD127: Kenyan security personnel and journalists duck behind a vehicle as heavy gunfire erupts from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi Kenya Monday Sept. 23 2013. Multiple large blasts have rocked the mall where a hostage siege is in its third day. Associated Press reporters on the scene heard multiple blasts and a barrage of gunfire. Security forces have been attempting to rescue an unknown number of hostages inside the mall held by al-Qaida-linked terrorists. (AP Photo/ Jerome Delay) (23 Sep 2013)
<<APPHOTO XJD127 (09/23/13)££
APPHOTO XJD124: Kenyan security officers takes cover as gunfire and explosions are heard from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi Kenya Monday Sept. 23 2013. Multiple large blasts have rocked the mall where a hostage siege is in its third day. Associated Press reporters on the scene heard multiple blasts and a barrage of gunfire. Security forces have been attempting to rescue an unknown number of hostages inside the mall held by al-Qaida-linked terrorists. (AP Photo/ Jerome Delay) (23 Sep 2013)
<<APPHOTO XJD124 (09/23/13)££
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