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Kenya officials say three soldiers killed in mall attack


Published:   |   Updated: September 24, 2013 at 09:39 AM

NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenyan officials say three soldiers have died and eight others have been injured in a fight with militants who attacked an upscale mall in Nairobi.

The Kenyan Interior Ministry said Tuesday, the fourth day in fighting at the Westgate mall, that three soldiers “have succumbed to their injuries” and that eight others are still receiving treatment.

Earlier, the Kenyan Red Cross confirmed at least 62 people have been killed, but spokesman Abbas Gullet said it was still not known how many more may be dead inside the building.

A government official told The Associated Press that the morgue was preparing for up to 60 bodies, though the official didn’t know an exact count. He insisted on anonymity for fear of retribution for talking to the press.

The militant group that attacked the mall said it is still holding hostages alive inside and that its fighters are “still holding their ground.”

The Twitter messages posted Tuesday by the al-Qaida-linked rebel group al-Shabab came after Kenyan government assurances of success in the standoff.

Al-Shabab says the hostages “are still alive, looking quite disconcerted but, nevertheless, alive.”

A security expert with contacts inside said Monday night there were at least 30 hostages when the assault began Saturday and at least 10 were believed to be still inside the upscale mall. Officials did not give a figure, saying only that “most” hostages had been released.

Sporadic gunfire could be heard from the building Tuesday as government forces pressed on inside.

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