Nairobi, Kenya (4E) – Kenyan forces have cornered the remaining terrorists inside a mall in Nairobi as the Somalia-based Islamic militants group Al-Shabab threatened more attacks in Kenya if its government does not withdraw its troops in Somalia.
Explosions and gunfire were heard at the Westgate Mall on Tuesday, but President Uhuru Kenyatta told reporters that the military has wrested control of the complex from the terrorists.
Uhuru said five terrorists and six security forces were killed in the firefight. Another 61 civilians were killed since armed Al-Shabab members attacked the mall and took many people as hostages on Saturday.
Nearly 200 people were wounded, including 11 Kenyan troops. Police have arrested 10 suspected militants from Al-Shabab.
Part of the rooftop for the mall’s parking area also collapsed Tuesday and bodies under the rubble are yet to be recovered, according to Uhuru.
Meanwhile, a spokesman of the Al-Shabab threatened more attacks in Kenya if Kenyan troops do not withdraw from Somalia.
In an audio posted on Twitter, the spokesman accused Kenya’s government of meddling in Somalia’s affairs; killing and displacing the Somali people; looting Somalia’s riches and resources; and controlling the simple life affairs in the Horn of Africa country.
“If it wants to live peacefully and safely, it must withdraw from our country, stop meddling in our affairs, set our captives free, and denounce all forms of fighting our religion,” the spokesman said, according to ABC News. “If you refuse to do so, you have seen what you will reap, which is only the beginning.”
Al-Shabab, an ally of the Al-Qaeda, controlled much of southern Somalia including the nation’s capital Mogadishu until a force of African Union troops, including Kenyans, intervened and pushed the terror group out in 2011 and 2012.