Kenya’s Interior Ministry announced via Twitter that its forces had taken control of the Nairobi shopping mall and that all hostages had been freed.
The news came after the operation against armed militants had moved into its third night. Although officials said three gunmen were dead, soldiers were still said to be combing the building for others. The number of assailants was unknown, as too was their fate.
On his return from his adjourned trial in The Hague, Kenya’s Vice President William Ruto, who is appearing before the International Criminal Court, gave his reaction to the crisis.
“As we have just demonstrated, terrorism can and must be fought mercilessly and defeated wherever it occurs. I join our president and the Kenyan nation to mourn those who perished in mayhem and to comfort the bereaved and the injured.”
Earlier on Monday billowing smoke marked the battle ground that was the Westgate shopping centre.
The official death toll stands at 62 dead and around 175 injured after militants, thought to be members of Somalia’s al-Shabaab movement, stormed the building on Saturday.