Live Updates: Explosion Rocks Westgate Mall

buy geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The Al Shabaab terrorists have since threatened a heavy response should military united of allied forces attempt to rescue the hostages.

It is thought elite commando forces have already swept through the first and second floors and are not moving to assault the militants on the third floor.

The interior Ministry said Westgate remains a crime scene and urged the public to avoid the area at all costs.

The complex has been cordoned off and adjacent roads closed to pave way for security to execute the hostage rescue mission.

7:30am: At least 3 British nationals have been confirmed dead in the Nairobi Westgate Mall shooting, Chimp Corps report.

UK Foreign Office said in a statement late Sunday that “the next of kin of those nationals have been informed.”

The statement further indicated that the “number of British Nationals confirmed as killed is likely to rise as further information becomes available.”

The Government’s crisis committee (COBR) met again earlier on Sunday, chaired by Foreign Secretary William Hague.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday afternoon said Kenya would pursue the terrorists and punish them for perpetrating heinous crimes in his country.

At least 10 to 15 Al Shabaab gunmen are still holed up in the upscale shopping mall in which 68 people have been killed in clashes with security forces.

By Sunday night, reports had indicated that UK, Israel and US Commandos had reinforced Kenya military operations against the terrorists.

However, Uhuru emphasized that the operation aimed at uprooting the militants from the Mall was a purely Kenyan mission.

The UK government said it had sent a “rapid deployment team from London to Nairobi to provide further consular support” and that “Staff from Addis Ababa have also been sent to Nairobi to assist.”

The UK High Commission in Nairobi said it has consular staff at the site and nearby hospitals.

Commenting on the security incident at a shopping centre in Nairobi, Kenya, Foreign Secretary William Hague said: “We are aware of a major security incident underway at the Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi. We are in close contact with the Kenyan authorities on the ground in Kenya and at ministerial level in the United Kingdom.”

He added: “The prime consideration at present is the welfare of members of the public caught up in this incident.”

A few hours after the attack on Saturday, Al Shabaab said it was targeting non-Muslims and that the Muslims had been escorted out.

UK Premier David Cameron said the massacre was not committed by the Islamic religion but terrorists.

Muslim leaders in Kenya on Sunday prayed with Christians in different churches across the country and urged the militants to lay down their arms and release the innocent hostages.

Heavily-armed security personnel remain outside the Mall while an elite commando force has already cleared the first floor of the building.

Kenyans are mobilizing money and donating blood to support the victims of the horrific attack that has plunged the nation into darkness.

The government of Uganda has since condemned the attacks and expressed its readiness to offer all forms of military support to “bust the syndicated gang of terrorists.”


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