Kenya stand-off: Latest updates

Key Points

  • A stand-off at the upmarket Westgate shopping centre in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, is now into its second day. All times GMT.
  • Three British nationals are confirmed as being among at least 68 people killed in the attack by Somali militants of al-Shabab on Saturday.
  • At least 175 people were injured in the attack while more than 1,000 were brought out of the shopping centre safely.
  • British Prime Minister David Cameron describes the incident as a "despicable attack" of "appalling brutality".
  • A number of hostages and an unknown number of attackers remain trapped inside as security forces try to end the siege.
  • The UK Foreign Office issues a phone number, +44 (0) 20 7008 0000, for British nationals to find out information about friends and relatives.

    Welcome to our live coverage of the standoff at the Westgate shopping centre in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. The centre came under attack on Saturday by Somali militants of al-Shabab resulting in the death of at least 39 people.

    Officials say the gunmen have been cornered but that people are trapped in a number of locations. It is not known how many hostages are inside the upmarket centre.

    Kenyan security forces are trying to bring an end to the siege.


    The BBC's Anne Soy says the night has been relatively quiet with sporadic shooting.


    Kenya police @PoliceKE has tweeted

    "We urge the public to keep away from West Gate and its environs for their own safety. Kindly HEED this."


    Gunfire has been heard inside the Nairobi shopping centre, and two wounded Kenyan troops have been evacuated, a witness has told the AFP news agency.


    Afua Hirsch, West Africa Correspondent for the Guardian, has tweeted: "Also just heard tragic news that #Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor among the dead in #Westgate Mall attack #Kenya"


    Al-Shabab's Twitter account has been suspended.


    For a profile of al-Shabab, read our article here.


    ‏@KenyaRedCross has tweeted: "Blood drive for #Westgate casualties currently underway at Kencom Nairobi bus stage."

    Westgate casualties being attended to

    Casualties of the attack are being treated by Red Cross workers.


    The BBC's Anne Soy has been covering the siege since it began on Saturday. Watch some of the dramatic footage.


    A Reuters photographer captured the moment soldiers from the Kenya Defence Force arrived at the scene on Sunday:

    A soldier from the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) holds his gun as he arrives at the Westgate Shopping Centre in the capital Nairobi 22 September, 2013. A soldier from the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) arrives at the scene, as this Reuters photograph shows
    Joe Falter in Nairobi

    emails: Several of my colleagues were in the mall when the attack started. Some hid under a table for 2 hrs as gunmen killed those around them. They all miraculously either escaped early on or were rescued later. One was shot twice but is expected to make a full recovery. I helped another colleague look for her sister in all the hospitals, as she said she was going to the area, and had not been returning calls all day. As of yet we still don't know where she is.


    BBC reporter Anne Soy says she has heard more gunfire in the last few minutes and 30 minutes ago.


    This gallery captures some of the trauma of Saturday's events.


    BBC reporter Ben Geoghegan says Kenyans, Americans, Canadians and Britons are among the up to 300 people who have been injured.


    Anne Soy says police say they have the situation under control and that they have contained the gunmen.


    The force has asked members of the public for information about people trapped in the building


    Martin Plaut, @martinplaut, a senior fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, tells BBC Radio 5Live this is the spectacular attack that al-Shebab has been planning for.


    The Inspector General of Kenya's police, David Kimaiyo, tweets to ask friends and relatives who are trying to reach their loved ones to inform the force through direct message.


    The BBC's Anne Soy says there is no official account as to how many civilians are still in the building - al-Shabab says there are at least 36 hostages but police are not giving out information on the numbers trapped.

    Saika Bazelaire in Kenya

    emails: My sister Shamim Allu was shot. She's Muslim yet they shot her so they didn't spare anyone. My sister was shot four times from the back. Our prayers and thoughts are for all that have been effected in Kenya.


    After gunfire and explosions, soldiers from the Kenya Defence Force are seen carrying a wounded colleague out of the Westgate shopping centre:

    Soldiers from the Kenya Defence Forces carry a wounded colleague, following the sound of explosions and gunfire, out of the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Sunday, 22 September, 2013. Soldiers carry a colleague down the entrance steps

    Daniel Howden, Africa Correspondent for The Independent newspaper, helped carry people out of the mall. He told the BBC a man called Joshua Hakim, who was part of a group that had guns pointed at them, put his thumb over his first name on his identity card and was allowed to leave by the militants.

    Mr Hakim told Mr Howden that an Indian man who was asked for the name of the mother of the Prophet by the militants could not answer and was shot.


    Kenya's Standard newspaper reports three women have been rescued after hiding in the shopping centre overnight. Other people are still inside, the paper says.


    This is a map of the area under attack:

    Map iof the area

    The BBC's Anne Soy said that because of the way they are dressed, some of the attackers were blending in and changing clothes, so there was some confusion about who they were.


    The Israeli military intelligence analysis website Debkafile says Israeli security men are assisting the Kenyan military operation against the attackers.


    Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud says: "We in Somalia know only too well the human costs of violence like this. We send a strong message of solidarity with the Kenyan government, our valued partners in the campaign to bring peace to Somalia."

    Challiss Mcdonough

    tweets: At Aga Khan hospital waiting to donate blood. Every single part of Kenyan society is represented here. Solidarity. #Westgate


    Sending his condolences to Kenyan people, the Somali president added: "These heartless acts against defenceless civilians, including innocent children, are beyond the pale and cannot be tolerated. We stand shoulder to shoulder with Kenya in its time of grief for these lives lost and the many injured."


    The Red Cross chief in Kenya has told AFP news agency that 43 people are dead and more than 200 have been wounded in the attack.


    Kenya's national disaster management office asks anyone searching for relatives to get in contact.

    Jason Straziuso

    tweets: Hundreds of onlookers gathered on a high ridge above #WestgateAttack in Kenya. No recent gunfire.


    Kenyan video journalist @johniemau tweets: "Finally home from #westgate. Thank God. It was a cold, long, dark and scary night. Praying for the #hostages and everyone on the ground."


    Britain's High Commissioner to Kenya, Christian Turner, tweets that the British Army is providing food to a hospital caring for victims.


    Pictures from APTN in the last few minutes show a police checkpoint in the Westlands district of Nairobi, near the shopping centre:

    A police checkpoint in the Westlands area of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, 22 September 2013. Armed police secure the streets nearby

    Amama Mbabazi, Uganda's prime minister writes on Twitter: "Uganda condemns in the strongest terms possible the senseless act of terrorism in Nairobi Kenya. Our sympathies are with the victims."


    BBC reporter Anne Soy says the police say the situation is under control and the attackers are confined, but there are still some hostages in the building.


    The Ghanaian government has confirmed that Kofi Awoonor, Professor of African Literature at the University of Ghana, died in the Westgate attack, reports the BBC's Sammy Darko in Ghana's capital, Accra.


    Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged people to remain calm and vigilant.


    A photograph taken on Sunday morning shows a woman being evacuated from the Westgate centre:

    A woman is escorted after being evacuated from the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi 22 September, 2013. It is not clear how many people are still trapped

    Television pictures in the last few minutes showed an ambulance driving away from the Westgate:

    Ambulance with sirens driving away from the Westgate centre in Westlands district of Kenyan capital, Nairobi, 22 September 2013. Emergency lights were flashing on the vehicle

    Kenya's interior ministry @InteriorKE tweets: "Reinforcement has been made at #WestgateMall. We urge the media to take precautions as we continue with the rescue operations."


    In the UK, Amita Sharma from Slough told BBC Radio Berkshire she had family and friends caught up in the attack: "We have a family friend whose daughter-in-law was four months' pregnant and we know that she's been shot and she hasn't survived."

    "And my cousin who works there; he's got a lot of friends. When I spoke to him, earlier on - yesterday - he said that his friends are still in there, and one of them had been shot. But I don't know whether they survived or not."


    A 30-second burst of gunfire has been heard, as security forces ran in a line and crouched along the front of building, the Reuters news agency reports a witness at the scene as saying.


    Large numbers of Kenyans have been donating blood at special centres in Nairobi. Britain's High Commissioner joined the donors, the UK mission tweets.

    Brian Nyabuti in Kenya

    tweets: The father of my small bro's best friend was just announced among the dead in the #Westgate mall tragedy...truly sad. God be with the family


    Kenyan media has reported that several people in hiding in the mall escaped to safety. Cecile Ndwiga told the Associated Press news agency that she had been hiding under a car in the basement parking garage.

    "I called my husband to ask the soldiers to come and rescue me. Because I couldn't just walk out anyhow. The shootout was all over here left, right-just gun shots,'' she said.


    Annemarie Desloges, who served at Canada's High Commission in Kenya, is named as among the deceased.

    In a statement, three Canadian ministers said: "It is with heartfelt sadness that we learned of the death in the service of our country, one of our own, Annemarie Desloges, a distinguished public servant with Citizenship and Immigration Canada who served at Canada's High Commission in Kenya.

    "We send our thoughts and prayers and those of all Canadians to Ms. Desloges' family, friends and colleagues during this most difficult time."


    Amita Sharma from Slough in the UK has family and friends caught up in the attack. Ms Sharma told BBC Radio Berkshire she knows the shopping centre well and says security is tight.

    "To go into Westgate you have to go through security. So if you're driving in a car, they actually check in the boot of the car. They check under the car. If you go in by foot, then they have security guards at the gates, where they check in the bags, and they might frisk you. A lot of them are armed. They don't let you take photographs," she explains.


    Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga has addressed journalists at the scene: "Terrorism is a universal affair," he said. "We want to appeal to the international community to work with us, at this very trying moment."


    Ben Mulwa was in the mall's parking lot when a group of the gunmen arrived. He said: "The security guard went to check the boot of our car. That's when we heard the first gunshot. Our immediate instinct was maybe it's just a robbery or maybe police are pursuing cars so we didn't pay much attention. Then the gun shooting intensified in the next two minutes. Actually it got so bad. And we felt that they were approaching where we were so we decided to jump out of the car and to hide."


    Eyewitness Ben Mulwa said: "Four guys walked in, one of them had this (Yasser) Arafat kind of covering on his head, but their faces were not covered. One of them had very long rifles. It was actually about five minutes to one. Immediately that's when I saw four guys walk to the security gates. They shot into the security cubicle and started shooting randomly. I think specifically they were targeting the security guys, because I saw them pursuing quite a number of them. Unfortunately where I was actually the security guard who was just lying next to where I was, was shot in the head. He died instantly."


    Kenyan soldiers in helmets and body armour have been driven to the scene to reinforce troops searching for the attackers:

    Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) arrive at the Westgate mall in Nairobi on 22 September, 2013. Backup troops carrying weapons arrive at the Westgate

    Speaking to media at the scene, Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for the Interior, Joe Lenku, says the government is not in a position to say how many foreign nationals have been killed or injured in the attack.

    Harman in Mumbai

    emails: Terrorism is a very shameful and cowardly act by some groups. They are not taking a day off to make this world a worse place. However they should know that they will never be able to break our strength. A relative of a very close friend of mine is in the mall.

    0901: Breaking News

    Cabinet Secretary for the Interior Joe Lenku says 59 people have been killed and 175 injured. AFP reports that 10 to 15 attackers are still battling security forces inside Westgate shopping mall.

    Cabinet Secretary for the Interior Joe Lenku Joe Lenku

    Joe Lenku, the Cabinet Secretary for the Interior, says the number of people injured has risen to 175. He says a list of those killed will be made available.


    Between 10 to 15 people are still inside the building, and the situation is still delicate, Mr Lenku adds.


    People in charge of the rescue operation deserve credit for taking 1,000 people out of the building to safety, Mr Lenku says.


    The BBC's Anne Soy said the Metropolitan Police Service is offering advisory support.


    Four people were rescued on Sunday morning and two soldiers were evacuated with injuries, Kenyan Interior Minister Joe Lenku tells media at the scene.


    The BBC's Anne Soy said she spoke to one man who said his daughter was in the mall and was too scared to come out.


    Kenya's Interior Ministry @InteriorKE says the security forces are "in control of the CCTV room at Westgate".


    Interior Minister Joe Lenku would not give further details to the media, when he was asked if there were hostages inside the Westgate.

    Kenyan Interior Minister Joe Lenku speaks to media in Nairobi, 22 September 2013. The government minister spoke on Sunday at the scene

    Kenya's Red Cross tweets that three bodies have been found and two hostages rescued.


    Nairobi resident Nahashon Mwangi told AFP news agency he got a telephone call from his son, pleading with him to rescue him from the Westgate centre. "Dad, I have been shot....come and help me please," his son had said. Five hours after Mr Mwangi got to the scene, his injured son was evacuated by security forces and was taken to hospital.


    Renowned Ghanaian poet and statesman Kofi Awoonor was among the people killed in the attack. Ghana's president John Dramani Mahama said in a statement: "I am shocked to hear the death of Prof Kofi Awoonor in Nairobi mall terrorist attack. Such a sad twist of fate..."

    Mary M Mlemwa in Nairobi

    emails: This is terrifying and I am so sad. I am scared to go to church and now I can't go to the malls either. What are we supposed to do now, lock ourselves in our houses?


    The Chinese Embassy in Kenya said in a statement that a 38-year-old Chinese woman had been killed in the attack, AP reports. The statement said her son was injured and is in a stable condition in hospital.


    Reporter Anne Soy tells BBC World Service she met one survivor who was at the supermarket inside the Westgate centre. She managed to crawl to her office and get there at midnight. The woman heard people going around the supermarket eating but could not tell whether they were security guards or attackers. She kept quiet until she was rescued by security forces on Sunday morning.


    In an emergency text message, the United States embassy in Nairobi said: "Violent extremists continue to occupy Westgate Mall. Security services are there in full force,'' AP reports.


    Kenyan broadcaster @ntvkenya reports that 28 people have been admitted to M P Shah Hospital and that eight casualties are scheduled for surgery.

    BBC reporter Mark Doyle in Kismayo, Somalia, 22 September 2013. The port city of Kismayo has been the scene of fierce fighting between Al-Shabab and African Union forces

    Al-Shabab - the Islamist militant group which says it is behind the Westgate attack - wants to grind down foreign military forces - including Kenyans - and drive them out of Somalia, reports the BBC's Mark Doyle, who is currently embedded with African Union forces in Kismayo in Somalia.


    The UK Foreign Office is asking concerned British nationals to contact it on +44 (0)20 7008 0000 and to monitor travel advice.


    One Nairobi resident, Michael Oduor, tells Reuters TV the attack has made him fearful: "We have been fighting terrorism for quite some time... it is so dangerous, because you will not know who is who, because they (the attackers) seem to be mingling in-between (amongst) us."


    The son of Ghanaian poet and statesman Kofi Awoonor, who was killed in the attack (see 0939), was injured and has been discharged from hospital, Ghana's Deputy Information Minister Felix Kwakye Ofosu said.


    Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is to address a news conference at State House at 13:00 GMT, the BBC's East Africa bureau in Nairobi reports.


    The entry of Kenyan soldiers into the mall earlier this morning looked like a final effort to end the siege, the BBC's Will Ross in Nairobi reports.


    The Indian government says two Indian nationals were killed in the Westgate attack. "A young man and a boy, unfortunately succumbed," a spokesman for the Indian Foreign Ministry, Syed Akbaruddin, said in Delhi.


    The BBC's Will Ross, who is about 300-400 metres from the Westgate centre, says there appears to be a standoff between soldiers and militants inside. He told the Newsroom programme on BBC World Service there had not been any word about any negotiations. Gunfire has been sporadic but not sustained.

    Members of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) arrive at the Westgate centre on 22 September, 2013. Troop reinforcements arrived earlier

    The Somali government condemns the Westgate attack in the strongest terms, Somalia's Foreign Minister, Fowsia Adan, tells the BBC Somali Service. "Al-Shabab is desperate," she says. "Soon (it) will be eradicated from Somalia, from where they export violence."


    Israeli forces have entered Westgate centre, the AFP news agency reports an unnamed security source as saying.

    Neerav from Perth, Australia

    emails: I have a friend here in Perth who has lost two close friends in this horrendous attack - Unbelievable!!

    S. K. Bellur, Nairobi

    emails: My son got delayed by half an hour to join his friends for lunch. Meanwhile, the friend called and said don't come, Westgate is under attack. He lost his friend, who was shot and another friend is seriously injured. It is a very sad day for we Kenyans.


    The world police body, Interpol, says it can provide Kenyan police with specialist forensics officers to help them investigate the attack. "This deadly incident....reminds us all how much harm a handful of heavily-armed, hateful and bloodthirsty terrorists can cause in any country," secretary general Ronald Noble said.


    Reuters reports that Israeli advisors are helping Kenya with negotiating strategy to end the mall siege.


    The BBC 's Anne Soy said President Kenyatta's sister was evacuated from the mall but his nephew and his nephews's fiancée died in the attack.


    Reuters reports that Kenyan deputy president William Ruto, who is on trial at the International Criminal Court, has requested an adjournment to let him deal with the security situation.


    The US Embassy in Nairobi has issued an alert to its citizens and embassy staff to stay indoors, avoid large gatherings in public places and keep off the precincts of the Westgate Mall.


    The US government has also suspended the travel of all "temporary duty personnel" posted to Nairobi "until further notice".


    According to the US Secretary of State John Kerry, the wife of an American working for the US Agency for International Development has been killed in the attack.


    Nairobi Hospital is reporting that it has run out of blood bags, the Kenya National Disaster Operation Centre says.


    A BBC correspondent at the scene says helicopters are circling overhead and more soldiers have moved to the area. Occasional gunfire can be heard.

    Triage area outside mall @KenyaRedCross says an emergency area has been set up outside the mall

    Westminster SNP leader and foreign affairs spokesman Angus Robertson, who is currently in Kenya, has condemned the attack. He said: "People here in Kenya are absolutely shocked by the terrorist outrage in Nairobi. The reaction from all faith groups has been unanimous in condemning the terrible shootings. Queues have formed at blood banks to provide the necessary life-saving supplies."

    Peter, Nairobi

    emails: Just come from the site of the standoff. It does not look very promising. I saw three ladies being led out of Westgate. The longer it lasts the more terrifying it will get for the captives.


    Mr Robertson MP was speaking after attending the Laikipia Highland Games for peace and reconciliation in central Kenya when news of the shootings emerged. He said: "All Kenyans I have spoken to here are absolutely outraged by the incident. The peace and reconciliation event I have been at in central Kenya was attended by a number of Nairobi-based diplomats from different countries. They have been working flat-out to get information about the incident, the victims and affected families and co-ordinate the response. It is a terrible situation for all involved and the SNP joins the universal condemnation of this terrorist act."

    People queue to give blood in Nairobi A long line of people queue to give blood in Nairobi

    Manoj Shah, chairman of Nairobi's MP Shah hospital, told AP that 19 people, including at least four children, died after being admitted. "We have at least two critical patients currently, one with bullets lodged near the spine,'' he said.


    In response to al-Shabab's claim that it will carry out more attacks if Kenya does not withdraw its troops from Somalia, Eloi Yao, a spokesman for the African Union's Mission in Somalia, told the BBC's Shaun Ley that Kenya would continue to support the mission.

    "It has been very, very sad news," he said. "Kenya's participation is very well appreciated and if the enemy want to use that as the reason to attack Kenyan civilians that's unfortunate. Peace in Somalia also means peace in the region and also internationally. So stability in Somalia, will also mean stability in the region."

    1256: Breaking News

    Three British nationals confirmed dead in the attack in Nairobi and the number is likely to rise, says a statement from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.


    A Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spokesperson said the families of the three Britons have been informed of the deaths.


    The UK government's crisis committee met earlier, chaired by British Foreign Secretary William Hague. A rapid deployment team has been sent from London to Nairobi to provide consular support. Staff from Addis Ababa have also been sent to Nairobi to assist and the UK High Commission in Nairobi has consular staff near the mall site and at nearby hospitals.


    British Prime Minister David Cameron described the incident as a "despicable attack" of "appalling brutality".


    Mr Cameron said: "Because the situation is ongoing, we should prepare ourselves for further bad news. It's an extremely difficult situation but we're doing everything we can to help the Kenyans in their hour of need."


    The BBC's Will Ross said at least 60 people were now thought to have been killed in the mall.


    BBC Nigeria correspondent Will Ross said that in 2009, a western diplomat told him "we are on borrowed time when it comes to a terror attack in Nairobi".


    Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham has condemned the attack on behalf of the Iranian government and people.


    St John Ambulance tweets that it is receiving donations of gloves, food and water in Nairobi.


    News conference to be addressed by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga begins. You can follow it live here.


    The dean of the African Diplomatic Corps has paid condolences to the president, government and people of Kenya.


    Amani leader Musalia Mudavadi said: "This is a very unfortunate visitation of evil once again on the people of Kenya. Many years ago we went through a similar tragedy."


    Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga gave his condolences to relatives of those who died. "It is an act of impunity aimed at destroying the spirit of the Kenyan people," he said. "Kenyans cannot be divided."


    Mr Odinga appealed to people not to propagate hate messages on social media and appealed to the international community to "stand with us". He said he wanted the attack to be treated as an isolated incident and wished the wounded a quick recovery.


    President Kenyatta thanked "our brothers and sisters on the African continent for their show of solidarity".


    Mr Kenyatta said: "I want every bereaved family to know that I and indeed all of us mourn with them. No-one should lose their life so needlessly, so senselessly."


    Mr Kenyatta said his nephew and his fiancée were killed in the attack. "These are young lovely people I personally knew and loved," he said. He offered comfort and encouragement to those who suffered physical and psychological wounds.


    The Kenyan president confirms that there are 10-15 attackers inside the shopping centre, including women.


    "Officers are putting their lives on the line for the greater good therefore give them due consideration and prayer," Mr Kenyatta said.


    Speaking of those responsible for the attack, Mr Kenyatta said: "They shall not get away with their despicable and beastly acts. "We will punish the masterminds swiftly and indeed very painfully."


    Mr Kenyatta says investigations are under way to determine who is behind the attack, despite the claim by Somalia's al-Shabab militants on social media.


    Mr Kenyatta said: "We need to work together to fight the terrorist battle not just here in Kenya…this is not a Kenyan war, this is an international war and we need to join hands and work together to see it effectively destroyed."


    Mr Kenyatta thanked Kenyans, the media and requested responsible reporting. "God bless Kenya and God bless us all," he said.


    Mr Kenyatta urged countries not to issue travel advisories against visiting Kenya, which depends on tourism.


    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: "This premeditated act, targeting defenceless civilians, is totally reprehensible. The perpetrators must be brought to justice as soon as possible. Nairobi is the United Nations' main headquarters in Africa, with a wide-ranging presence and hundreds of national and international staff. I am saddened to report that a retired staff member of Unicef was among those killed in the attack. I offer my condolences to his family. This is a time of shock for all Kenyans and all - including the UN family - who are proud to call Nairobi home. I express my solidarity with them at this moment of grief and loss."


    The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that an Australian has been confirmed as among those killed in the siege.


    The Australian Broadcasting Corporation said a spokesperson from the Australian department of foreign affairs had confirmed the death of a person holding dual Australian and British citizenship, but did not provide any further details.


    At least 59 people have been confirmed to have been killed in the attack. BBC News profiles some of the victims.

    Christian Turner, British High Commissioner to Kenya, (left) chats with Kenya's Red Cross Secretary General Abbas Gullet after giving blood Christian Turner, British High Commissioner to Kenya (left), chats with Kenya's Red Cross Secretary General Abbas Gullet after giving blood

    Daniel Howden, Africa Correspondent for The Independent newspaper, tweets: "Kenyan commandoes enter #Westgate. Heavy firing and at least one grenade #nairobi"


    Ed Miliband, leader of the British Labour Party, said: "This is an appalling attack which has left three British citizens and many others dead. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims and the others caught up in this dreadful atrocity. Those who carried out this attack will be condemned across the globe. The cold-blooded killing of innocent women, children and men is as despicable as it is shocking."


    Mr Miliband added: "This terrible attack reminds us all of the continuing need for vigilance from our security services and ongoing international co-operation in the battle against terrorism. I offer Labour's full support to the government in the coming days as the Kenyan authorities seek to bring this act of terrorism to an end and bring those responsible to justice."

    Wilfred in Nairobi

    emails: Many people are lining up to donate blood at a bus station known as Kencom here in Nairobi.


    French President Francois Holland said two French women were killed in Saturday's attack while South Africa's International Relations Department said one South African also died.


    Kenya's interior ministry @InteriorKE says Kenyans have so far raised more than US$70,000 (£43,700) to help the victims of the attack.

    People donating blood

    Hospitals in Nairobi say they have been inundated with people giving blood.


    Kenya Red Cross tweets: Apologies to ALL donors who missed out at KENCOM, we will host another Blood Drive at Uhuru Park tomorrow from 9am


    Somali radio says al-Shabab spokesman Ali Muhammud Rageh, alias Ali Dhere, has claimed responsibility for the attack.

    Mr Dhere is said to have termed the attack "revenge for Somalis".

    According to the radio, the spokesman said they still hold the shopping mall in Nairobi, and had resisted several attacks by Kenya's security forces.

    The spokesman added: "We launched the attack for revenge of those massacred by the Kenyan invaders in southern region of Jubba in our country."


    The Ugandan government has called the attack a "heinous, cold-blooded act of terror", adding that it condemns the barbaric attack in the "strongest possible terms".

    "It is a misguided act of desperation designed by evil elements to divide the people of Kenya and break the country's resolve to support the global anti-terrorism fight and the ongoing UN stabilisation mission in Somalia," it said.


    Kampala suffered an al-Shabab attack in July 2010 whilst people were watching the World Cup final. Seventy-four people were killed.


    Details have been emerging of the victims of the attack.

    These have included a popular radio host who was pregnant and a Ghanaian poet.

    Man reads a daily newspaper

    A man sitting on the security perimeter barrier put in place near the Westgate shopping centre reads the Sunday Nation newspaper.


    Daily Nation reporter Zadock Angira says security officers are on their final assault advancing towards the attackers, who are said to be holed up in a room with bulletproof glass.


    Jason Straziuso, AP correspondent in the area, tweets: Army helicopter close to #WestgateMall just visible in background. First time so close since Sat attack.

    Army helicopter

    The Nakumatt supermarket chain has closed all its stores including the 24hr stores in Nairobi until Monday, reports Business Daily Africa.

    The attackers remain inside the Nakumatt Westgate outlet store in the shopping centre.


    The International Criminal Court has confirmed it has received the request from Deputy President William Ruto to be absent from his trial, and return home to deal with Westgate attack (see 1209 entry).

    The judges will deal with the request first thing on Monday morning.


    It is an unprecedented request, insofar as a government official has never stood trial while simultaneously maintaining a government role.

    Mr Ruto faces charges of crimes against humanity for his alleged role in co-ordinating violence that swept Kenya in the aftermath of the country's contested 2007 elections.

    He denies the charges.

    Onlookers stand near the shopping centre

    Onlookers stand along the road and look from a distance at Westgate Shopping Centre, where attackers are holding hostages.


    AP reporter Jason Straziuso, who is at the scene, tweets: Huge explosion at kenya mall just now.


    A 33-year-old Dutch woman is among the dead.

    The Dutch foreign ministry has released a statement saying: "Our condolences go out to her family, friends and loved ones. Employees of the Dutch Embassy in Nairobi are helping the survivors."


    AP reporter Jason Straziuso adds that the last big blast was far larger than any explosion that's happened in the last 30 hours.

    He has no idea what caused it.


    In this video, UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has reiterated his condemnation for the attack.


    Mary Murray, a reporter for NBC, tweets that there have been two explosions in the shopping mall in the last 30 minutes.


    Kenya's interior ministry says it is "not counting the hours but looking at the results".


    The chairman of MP Shah Hospital says the nine beds in the intensive care unit are completely full, and that they cannot take any more patients.

    He added that staff had been forced to send patients to other hospitals.


    The chairman, Manoj Shah, added: "Yesterday we admitted 40 patients out of the 126 that we saw.

    "At this point in time we still had about 28 patients who are still admitted in the hospital.

    Hospital chairman Manoj Shah

    "About eight of them are scheduled to go for surgery to remove the bullets and shrapnel wounds. The rest of them, we are treating them and we are hoping that within two or three days time we will be able to start discharging them."


    The two French victims who lost their lives were a mother and daughter who were executed in the car park, the French minister in charge of nationals living abroad said.

    Helene Conway-Mouret said there were seven French nationals in the shopping centre at the time of the assault; five managed to escape.

    One suffered bullet wounds and was in hospital, but was not "in danger", she told BFM-TV.


    Al-Shabab has said on its new Twitter feed that Kenyan officials were asking the hostage-takers to negotiate and offering incentives.

    "We'll not negotiate with the Kenyan govt as long as its forces are invading our country, so reap the bitter fruits of your harvest,'' it said.

    Its previous Twitter account was shut down on Saturday.

    1633: Mike Wooldridge World Affairs correspondent, BBC News

    To those outside the upmarket Westgate shopping centre, sporadic gunfire has been the only clue to what has been happening inside the four-storey complex as the standoff between the Islamist militants and elite units of the Kenyan security forces continues... though in the late afternoon a police helicopter and another with military camouflage swept low over the shopping centre.

    This was shortly after President Uhuru Kenyatta had refused to discuss operational aspects of the ongoing attempt to rescue the hostages.

    Kyle Westaway, Guardian writer

    tweets: 3 ambulances exiting #westgate

    Kenya Police

    tweets: This is not a religious act of crime, but an act of terrorism, carried out by cowards. We urge all Kenyans to unite and Arise as one.


    An "important" operation is under way at the Westgate shopping centre, government sources tell AFP news agency


    US President Barack Obama has spoken to Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, and said the US will support Kenya's efforts to bring perpetrators of the shopping centre attack to justice - Reuters reports

    NTV Kenya

    tweets: Gunmen kill former Nation Journalist; Tony #Kago


    "President Obama reiterated US support for Kenya's efforts to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice," the White House said in a statement.


    "We fear the death toll... could be much, much higher than what we have, judging from the bodies sighted inside," a police officer is quoted by AFP as saying.


    NTV reporter Nimrod Taabu who is at the scene says security officers are in every corner of the street leading to the Westgate Mall.


    The Kenyan Red Cross says that one hostage has been rescued and search & rescue operations are ongoing.


    The BBC's Anne Soy, who is about 300m from the shopping centre, says increased gunfire has rung out over the past hour.

    She says ambulances have been leaving the scene, as has a pick-up truck covered with blankets, suggesting that it may be carrying bodies.

    Jason Straziuso

    tweets: Dark n drizzle descend on #westgate. More gunfire inside. Hostages begin a 2nd horrible nite.


    "The lights kept going on and off," survivor Faith Wafula tells the Daily Nation, as she recounts her ordeal in the Westgate shopping centre.


    The African bureau chief for The Washington Post, Sudarsan Raghavan, reflects on covering a war zone "too close to home".

    Army helicopter circles behind a billboard advertising a supermarket where the attackers are based

    An army helicopter circles behind a billboard advertising the supermarket in Westgate Shopping Centre.


    A British man tells BBC News that his wife and young daughter are still trapped in the building.

    "All I'm hoping is that they're safe, they're hiding and they're just waiting for time to [come] out."


    He added: "Days are going by and it's killing us really.

    "I've seen these incidents all over the world on the news and when you actually have it for yourself it's very heartbreaking and the emotion and not knowing what's going on is driving us mad.

    "Your heart's constantly beating and what do you do? I'm looking at a building across the road and I'm thinking 'what are they doing in the darkness for so long?'"

    1758: Breaking News

    Kenya Red Cross says the death toll has risen to 68 after nine more bodies were recovered in the rescue mission.


    Unsurprisingly, Kenya's leading newspapers are dominated with coverage of the attack.

    The Standard called it a "day of terror" while the Sunday Nation reports on how terrorism turned a "day of peace to pain" - the attack coincided with World Peace Day.


    So far, the confirmed victims have included President Uhuru Kenyatta's nephew, Mbugua Mwangi, and fiancee Rosemary Wahito.

    Canadian diplomat Annemarie Desloges, 29, was killed as were two French nationals, an Australian, three Britons, a Chinese woman, a second Canadian national, a Dutch woman, 33, and a South African national.

    1826: Breaking News

    Kenyan officials say an operation to end the terrorist siege has begun, and that the standoff will end "tonight'", reports AP.


    In the shabby "Little Mogadishu" quarter of Kenya's capital, Somalis feared the militant attack could trigger a violent backlash against them, reports Reuters.

    A shoe seller who declined to give his name said the attackers were bringing Somalia's war to Kenya.

    "The reason we're here is because of such people who have invaded our country (Somalia).

    "Now they're coming here to make our lives miserable."


    BBC Africa correspondent Andrew Harding tweets: "Something has happened to me... The things so great I cannot weep" from Songs of Sorrow by Ghana's K Awoonor, killed in Nairobi attack.


    BBC reporter Bashkass Jugsoday has been visiting various hospitals around the capital.

    He said doctors have been overwhelmed, as some people have no idea know which hospital their relatives had been taken to.


    AP correspondent Jason Straziuso tweets: Just now: another very large explosion inside #Westgate


    This timeline pulls together a summary of what we know about the deadly gunfire attack.


    You can see the full diagram of the shopping centre and what's on each level in the timeline.

    Diagram of the shopping centre

    BBC World Affairs correspondent Mike Wooldridge says it is unclear how many people are being held hostage in the shopping centre and how many people are trapped.

    There is no evidence of any direct communication between government forces and the hostage-takers, he adds.


    Kenya Red Cross tweets: #Westgate Casualties blood collected. Nairobi 1440 units, Nakuru 527, Kisumu 490, Mombasa 412 and Naivasha with 103.


    AP correspondent Jason Straziuso tweets: #westgate mall at night. Bottom floor lit. Top floors dark. Prayers for hostages experiencing a unique hell.

    Scene at the shopping mall
    2011: Mike Wooldridge World Affairs correspondent, BBC News, London

    It's a sombre mood here, certainly anxious.

    There's obviously some sort of expectancy this evening around the events that are happening here. I think there is a lot of defiance around, and that is coming through in all sorts of ways.


    Kamal Kaur, a radio presenter who was in the Mall with her two young children, told the BBC's Newshour: "A grenade was thrown at us and it went off. At the same time he shot at us. The bullet missed my son by just an inch; it bounced off the wall and hit the boy who was next to him. I was trying to pull the little boy down but unfortunately [the bullet] hit him and we all collapsed to the ground... [The attacker] came out again with his big rifle. My daughter kept whispering to everybody 'Pretend you're dead! Pretend you're dead!"

    Kenya Defence Forces

    tweets: Most of the hostages have been rescued and security forces have taken control of most parts of the building

    Kenya Defence Forces

    tweets: In the process 4 KDF personnel sustained injuries and taken to hospital for treatment


    A British man - who fears for his family members trapped inside the Westgate centre - told BBC News about the agonising wait outside.


    Just to recap... At least 68 people have been killed and 175 injured in the attack by suspected al-Shabab militants. Most of the hostages have been rescued and security forces have taken control of most of the building, according to the Kenyan Defence Forces (KDF).


    Kenyan journalist Larry Madowo tweets: 3 Israeli trauma specialist doctors 2 arrive @ Kenyatta National Hospital tomorrow to attend to #WestgateAttack victims. 1500 units of blood

    Citizen TV Kenya

    tweets: Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan has vowed to help Kenya contain the emerging terrorist activities in the country. via @NigeriaNewsdesk


    The BBC's Gabriel Gatehouse, outside the Westgate shopping centre, says he cannot see or hear anything that suggests a "final push" is going on. There is calm at the moment but there is a feeling this hostage crisis cannot last much longer, he says.


    A 38-year-old Chinese woman is among those killed; her son was injured and is in hospital in a stable condition, the Chinese Embassy in Kenya said in a statement.


    Watch the latest video report by the BBC's Gabriel Gatehouse, which includes new footage of the moment the attack began inside the Westgate shopping centre.


    Associated Press correspondent Jason Straziuso cites Kenyan military spokesman Cyrus Oguna as saying that most of the rescued hostages were adults, and that "most probably" some attackers were killed in the rescue operation.


    Colonel Cyrus Oguna tells the BBC he believes the militants still hold about 10 hostages. He says four soldiers have been injured in the operation to free hostages, and some of those rescued have been suffering from dehydration.


    Colonel Oguna says a large part of the building is now under the control of the security forces. He says he cannot be sure when the rescue operation will end, but he hopes it will be soon. It is possible more bodies will be found as the building is cleared, he adds.

    A US police officer speaks into his radio in Times Square, New York

    US Secretary of State John Kerry says the attack shows the "seriousness" of the threat posed by Somali militants. Security in the US has been stepped up in response to events in Nairobi, which Mr Kerry says are the work of "ruthless and completely reckless terrorists".


    Somali militant group al-Shabab says it carried out the attack in response to Kenyan military operations in Somalia. The BBC's Mark Doyle has sent this report from Kismayo in Somalia, where he has spent time with African Union troops.

    2313: Mike Wooldridge World Affairs correspondent, BBC News

    The shopping mall siege is not over yet. Our concern is to rescue all the hostages alive, the military say, and that is why the operation remains delicate. This nation now awaits the outcome of the standoff in a sombre and anxious mood, knowing that its full cost is only likely to be clear when it is finally over.


    The hostage situation continues. About five hours ago the Kenya National Disaster Operation Centre tweeted that "this will end tonight", but at present Kenyan military sources say about 10 hostages and an unknown number of militants are still inside the shopping centre.

    2358: Mike Wooldridge World Affairs correspondent, BBC News

    There is no evidence that there has been any communication between the security forces and the militants.


    We now have a new main story on the ongoing siege at the Nairobi shopping centre, as officials say most of the people who were held inside have been freed.


    This was the scene earlier on Sunday, as onlookers waited at a distance outside Westgate shopping centre.

    Onlookers outside the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi, Kenya (22 Sept 2013)
    Shiko Daniels, Nairobi

    tweets: My country will surely heal from this...we are a great people and will overcome this..#Westgate


    Kenya's the Nation newspaper has been speaking to people giving up their time to look after those waiting outside the Westgate Centre for news of loved one. "This was my way of thanking those people who helped my aunt and sister, but most importantly to help those in need," one man tells the paper.


    That's where we're ending our live coverage of the ongoing siege at the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi. We know that 68 people have died since the attack began on Saturday and that some hostages are still inside the complex, as are around a dozen militants. You can follow the latest news on the BBC News website, on the BBC's radio stations and television channels and on our Twitter feed, @bbcbreaking.


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