Kenyan security forces are locked in a standoff with gunmen who launched an assault on a Nairobi shopping centre, killing at least 39 people.
Police said the attackers were holding an unknown number of hostages. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said a ‘delicate operation’ was ongoing to ensure the safety of those still being held.
The Somali militant group Al Shabaab, which is linked to al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack via its Twitter feed.
The up-market Westgate mall is popular with wealthy Kenyans and expatriates. Two French citizens and two Canadians were among those who lost their lives.
The UK’s Foreign Minister William Hague told British media that he believed UK nationals were ‘undoubtedly’ caught up in the attack.
Nearly 300 people were admitted to hospitals to be treated for injuries.
The UN Security Council condemned the attack ‘in the strongest possible terms’.