Kenya stand-off: As it happened

Key Points

  • Kenyan security forces say they are in the final stages of ending the siege at the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi
  • The Somali Islamist al-Shabab movement has said it carried out the attack in retaliation for Kenyan military operations in Somalia
  • At least 62 people have been killed since the assault began on Saturday
  • Kenya's interior minister said all floors in the complex were under control and it was unlikely any hostages remained inside
  • At least 175 people have been injured in the attack, and more than 1,000 brought out safely, including some on Monday, authorities say
  • All times GMT
  1.  
    0425:

    Welcome to our live coverage of the ongoing siege at the Westgate shopping centre in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. There have been reports of heavy gunfire in the early hours.

     
  2.  
    0426:

    At least 68 people have been killed at the shopping centre since the assault by suspected militants from the Somali al-Shabab Islamist group began their assault.

     
  3.  
    0426:

    Witnesses have reported heavy and sustained gunfire, and explosions from inside the mall.

     
  4.  
    0440:

    Kenya's military spokesman, Col Cyrus Oguna, did not comment when asked about the gunfire, Reuters news agency reports.

     
  5.  
    Rizwan Ibrahim, Nairobi

    tweets: International press not too far away from #westgate and giving live updates via social media about their surroundings. Things are tense

     
  6.  
    0442:

    Al-Shabab means The Youth in Arabic. The group emerged as the radical youth wing of Somalia's now-defunct Union of Islamic Courts in 2006, as it fought Ethiopian forces who had entered Somalia to back the weak interim government. Read more about them in our Q&A.

     
  7.  
    0447:

    A witness interviewed by Reuters news agency said the gunfire was followed by a gap before small explosions.

     
  8.  
    0451:

    People from 10 different countries are known to be among the victims at the Westgate shopping centre.

     
  9.  
    0458:

    The Associated Press news agency also reports on sustained gunfire on Monday at the mall. It said that "at least one gunman was still free and that the standoff continued".

     
  10.  
    0500:

    Kenyan officials have said that more than 175 people have been injured, including children, since the stand-off began.

     
  11.  
    0502:

    The BBC's Mike Wooldridge in Nairobi confirms that heavy gunfire and explosions were heard from the shopping mall this morning, where security forces are trying to bring an end to the siege.

     
  12.  
    0509:

    The Kenyan military said last night that they had secured most of the building and rescued most of the hostages, but that a small number remained in the hands of the militants.

     
  13.  
    0510:

    The number of hostage-takers has been put at between 10 and 15, says the BBC's Mike Wooldridge in Nairobi.

     
  14.  
    Mike Wooldridge BBC News, Nairobi

    The military have said that they are making every effort to bring the siege at the Westgate shopping centre to a speedy conclusion but they have also emphasised that it is a delicate operation as the safe rescue of the hostages is their top priority.

     
  15.  
    0520:

    There is a flurry of activity at the shopping centre, the BBC's Komla Dumor, who is in Nairobi, says.

     
  16.  
    0522:

    He added that it was difficult to find out what was going on, but something was happening inside.

     
  17.  
    0530:

    Relatives of Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta - his nephew and the nephew's fiancee - were among those who died during the attack, that started on Saturday.

     
  18.  
    0536:

    Nairobi resident Mohamed Dahir, who is of Somali origin, was at the shopping centre when the attacks happened on Saturday. He told the BBC's Newsday that "all of a sudden this big explosion happened".

    "And then we ran up to the windows and tried to establish what was happening. We saw a gunman," he said.

     
  19.  
    0542:

    Mohamed Dahir added that the gunmen were "shooting sometimes in the air, sometimes they were shooting the crowd who were running away from the mall".

     
  20.  
    Kenya Security personnel take cover outside the Westgate Mall after firing started inside the mall early Monday morning, 23 September 2013 Security personnel took cover outside Westgate Mall early on Monday
     
  21.  
    0557:

    Prominent Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor - who was attending a literary festival in Nairobi - has been killed in the siege. Chinese, French, Dutch, South African, Indian and Canadian nationals are also among the foreigners confirmed killed, along with a dual Australian-British national.

     
  22.  
    Bill Kirsch

    tweets: Just left Kenya. We had talked about going to the Wesgate mall last Sat. Glad we didn't. Pray for the families affected. #WestgateAttack

     
  23.  
    0617:

    Who are al-Shabab? Previously ran much of southern Somalia; they lost some popular support by banning Western aid agencies during the 2011 famine there; they are estimated to have 7,000 to 9,000 fighters.

     
  24.  
    A Kenyan policeman secures the road past the Westgate Shopping Centre in the capital Nairobi, 23 September 2013 Officials have secured the Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi
     
  25.  
    Ogarao Jared, Chepilat, Kenya

    Emails: This has really affected our peaceful country and the world in general. Let us support the victims, their family and friends in all sectors especially in prayers and may the attackers know that killing is not a solution even those who may want to attack as there is no gain.

     
  26.  
    0624:

    UK Prime Minister David Cameron has cut short a visit to the Queen's residence in Scotland, Balmoral, to return to Downing Street to chair an emergency meeting following the Nairobi attack.

     
  27.  

    Kenya's privately-owned TV station NTV has issued a traffic advisory on its Twitter account: "Peponi and Ring roads remain closed after @WestgateMallKe attack. Motorists and pedestrians advised to use alternative routes."

     
  28.  
    0627:

    The multi-storey upscale Westgate Shopping Mall is owned by an Israeli businessman. It has restaurants, cafes, banks, a large supermarket and a cinema.

     
  29.  
    0636:

    Matt Bryren, a former UN investigator on al-Shabab, says this attack is alarming but not unexpected: "This is an action that has been anticipated for some time. It has not been a secret in security circles that al-Shabab aspired to conduct this type of attack. No-one could anticipate when al-Shabab would be ready for an attack of this nature," he told BBC Radio Five Live.

     
  30.  
    0636:

    Matt Bryren added: "The preparations and the planning for the operation went undetected by the intelligence and law enforcement community."

     
  31.  
    0642:

    Brief but intense gunfire accompanied by at least two blasts have been heard coming from inside the Westgate shopping centre, a Reuters witness reports.

     
  32.  
    Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the nation on the Westgate shopping mall attack in the capital Nairobi 22 September 2013

    At a news conference on Sunday, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said the country was united and strong in adversity: "With the professionals on site, we have as good a chance to neutralise the terrorists as we could hope for."

     
  33.  
    Gabriel, Nairobi

    Emails: It is really sad for Kenya and very terrifying for Nairobi residents especially we within the Parklands area. The helicopters and planes are now a common feature in the sky. Am so sad.

     
  34.  
    Anita Kattakuzhy, Nairobi

    tweets: woke up hoping and then sat on my balcony watching helicopters circling and hearing sirens. please let this end today #westgate

     
  35.  
    0654: Anna Holligan BBC News, The Hague

    reports that the International Criminal Court, where Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto is on trial for crimes against humanity, has adjourned for a week to allow Mr Ruto to fly back to Nairobi to help deal with the crisis.

     
  36.  
    0656:

    Canadian diplomat Annemarie Desloges, 29, was one of the victims of the attack. The Globe and Mail says she was "a rising star and had taken on a new role with the Canada Border Services Agency and calmly embraced visits to refugee camps across East Africa".

     
  37.  
    0704: Anna Holligan BBC News, The Hague

    adds Mr Ruto's lawyer, Karim Khan, argued Mr Ruto had a duty to be present in Nairobi to deal with the terror attack. Given the circumstances that are still developing at the Westgate Mall, no-one in court had any objection, our correspondent adds. William Ruto's lawyer said there was a flight at 11:00 local time (09:00GMT) that the deputy president hoped to catch.

     
  38.  
    0708:

    Mr Ruto went on trial at the International Criminal Court earlier this month, accused of orchestrating violence after Kenya's disputed elections in December 2007.

     
  39.  
    Oyoya Johanes, Kisumu, Kenya

    emails: My friend was there but thank GOD he was not killed. He is in the hospital.

     
  40.  
    0713:

    Australian architect Ross Langdon, who had designed an HIV-Aids hospital pro-bono in Kenya, was also among the victims of the attack. The Sydney Morning Herald says: "Mourning friends have remembered... Ross Langdon and his partner Elif Yavuz as a positive, energetic couple who were passionate about helping the communities in East Africa where they had forged a life together."

     
  41.  
    0735:

    An al-Shabab military commander has told the BBC that reports some of the militants are British are untrue. Media reports have suggested that fugitive Briton Samantha Lewthwaite, widow of 7 July bomber Jermaine Lindsay, is involved, but the UK Foreign Office says it has no evidence and is unwilling to speculate.

     
  42.  
    Kenyan security forces crouch behind a wall outside the Westgate shopping centre (Monday 23 September) Kenyan security forces crouch behind a wall outside the Westgate shopping centre after shooting was heard inside on Monday morning
     
  43.  
    Andrew Harding Africa correspondent

    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."

     
  44.  

    Kenya's Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government tweets: "DP @WilliamsRuto already at the airport ready to leave Netherlands at 11am, he is expected to address press on arrival at #JKIA."

     
  45.  

    The Westgate centre attack looks like a statement of intent by al-Shabab hardliner and jihadist Ahmed Abdi Godane, the Guardian's Simon Tisdall writes. He says there has recently been "a brutal power struggle" within the group which saw Mr Godane consolidate his power in June after four other top commanders were executed.

     
  46.  

    The interior ministry tweets this message to Kenyans: "We urge all Kenyans to be patient. We are frayed and tired, but No, this is not the time to give up. All agencies are doing what must be done."

     
  47.  
    Volunteer preparing breakfast 4 security officers near the scene

    The BBC's Anne Soy in Nairobi tweets this picture: "#WestgateMall Volunteer preparing breakfast 4 security officers near the scene via @CitizenTVNews"

     
  48.  
    Anne Soy BBC News

    in Nairobi tweets: "Kenyans raise +250,000 dollars through their mobile phones to help #WestgateAttack operation."

     
  49.  

    The Washington Post's Africa bureau chief Sudarsan Raghavan, who has reported from numerous war zones, offers his personal reflections on the Westgate attack: "That could have been me," he writes. He and his family live less than a mile from the mall and he says until now, they saw it as "an oasis in Nairobi".

     
  50.  
    Komla Dumor BBC News, Nairobi

    reports a Kenyan security official has confirmed that US and Israeli forces are involved in trying to bring this siege to an end.

     
  51.  
    Ruth, Nairobi,

    emails: Very sad to see this happen to our friends and relatives. I started crying yesterday when I saw my friend Evanshire after she was rescued from the mall. God is great and he will keep others safe as he did for her.

     
  52.  
    0815:

    Dr Sunil Sachdeva, who runs a dental clinic inside the shopping centre, tells the BBC Radio Four's Today programme he saw about a dozen dead as he tried to escape with staff and patients. "There was a tent where a cookery competition for children was carrying on and there were bodies lying under there," he says. "The scene was carnage."

     
  53.  
    0823:

    Somalia's ambassador to Kenya, Mohamed Ali Nur, has disputed reports that al-Shabab was behind the shootings. Speaking to the BBC World Service's Newsday programme, he said: "Up to now we don't know who and what nationalities these terrorist attackers are and I think it would be better if we waited until Kenyan security agencies finished the operations, and then we can know who they are."

     
  54.  
    0824:

    Ambassador Ali Nur added: "The people who were killed yesterday, one of them was a Somali national, so this is not an issue of Somalia or Islam. This is a terrorist group of people, and we and Kenya, we are on the same side."

     
  55.  
    0836:

    The Kenyan Red Cross has now said 69 people have been killed in the Westgate shopping centre attack in Nairobi.

     
  56.  
    Moses Munuve, Kenya

    tweets: There is a reason #Kenyans do well in long distance races. The #AlShabaab havent got a clue. We r the most resilient pple on earth #Westgate

     
  57.  
    XN Iraki, Nairobi

    emails: I live five minutes from Westgate Mall and often visit the place to shop. I can hear gun shots from my residence and helicopters flying overhead. I hope all will end well.

     
  58.  

    Kenya's @dailynation newspaper tweets: "Journalists flee Oshwal [triage] centre after rumours that the attackers were hurling explosives. Photo /A MUTAMBO #Westgate pic.twitter.com/ZajgBXyyHX"

     
  59.  
    0852:

    Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has condemned the attacks: "This dastardly act of terror on humanity is disturbing and we always maintain that a terror attack on anywhere in the world is a terror attack on all of us in the world because we can never know who will be a victim of terror," he told the BBC World Service's Newsday programme.

     
  60.  
    0855:

    Mr Jonathan also expressed his sadness at the news that Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor was among those killed: "I read his poem when I was in high school. When I learned that he also died there I felt quite sad for the whole world."

     
  61.  
    0900:

    BBC Africa's Alexis Akwagyiram looks at the challenge of Islamist militancy in Africa and the appeal of radicalism to those on the continent and its diaspora.

     
  62.  
    0901:

    African Union chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini‐Zuma has condemned the Westgate attack, according to Kenya's Daily Nation. She reiterated the AU's resolve to counter terrorism on the continent and sent messages of condolence to all those affected.

     
  63.  
    Mujahid, Nairobi

    emails: The Holy Quran says, if anyone killed an innocent it would be as if he had killed the whole [of] mankind. And if anyone who saved a life would be as if he saved the lives of all mankind. (5:32). The terrorists use Islam's name and commit these crimes. Islam is a religion of peace! It is so sad to see innocent blood being shed :(

     
  64.  
    0907:

    The Kenyan press was defiant on Monday as the siege continued, BBC Monitoring reports: The Nation newspaper leads with its "Kenya confronts terror" story over a picture of troops at the ready. The Standard headline, "Final assault", is also accompanied by a picture of forces in action.

     
  65.  
    0908:

    All of Kenya's papers report President Uhuru Kenyatta's warning of "tough action" against those responsible, BBC Monitoring adds, but The People newspaper makes an additional point, saying that when he called on Kenyans to "defeat them with our unity", that includes the country's Muslims too.

     
  66.  
    0915:

    With Islamist militant groups across the Sahara region still able to flex their muscles despite the French intervention in Mali, former UN diplomat and security expert Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah considers their threat to Africa.

     
  67.  
    0916:

    A Kenyan police chief says security forces rescued more hostages overnight and are closing in on the attackers, Reuters news agency reports.

     
  68.  
    0925: Komla Dumor BBC News, Nairobi

    reports: "Just moments ago, we heard the sound of small arms fire. The security agencies told everyone outside the shopping centre to hit the deck and we all got on the ground."

     
  69.  
    Kageni Wilson, Nairobi

    tweets: Kenyans have raised over $300,000 (Ksh. 27 million) in donations for #Westgate victims via #Mobile money in the past 24 hours. #WeAreOne

     
  70.  
  71.  
    0930: Naomi Grimley BBC News

    says al-Shabab in Nairobi used Twitter to publicise what they were doing and gloat about the numbers of people killed. They are thought to be the first group to use Twitter in this way to compound the fear they were causing.

     
  72.  
    0932: Naomi Grimley BBC News

    adds: "The perpetrators inside the complex were letting other members of the group outside know their movements. Using #Westgate to attract followers, it was clear al-Shabab saw their tweets as part of a broader strategy."

     
  73.  
    Paramedics and police run for cover as shooting is heard at the Westgate shopping centre Paramedics, journalists and police gathered outside the Westgate centre run for cover a short time ago after heavy gunfire is heard
     
  74.  
    0935:

    The Nairobi attackers have been using shoppers as human shields, the Daily Nation newspaper, seen by BBC Monitoring, reports. The paper quotes a police officer who says his colleagues were forced to hold fire when they chased gunmen to the first floor of the centre where they were herding women and children. The officer also said the militants were seen to be changing their clothes in shops.

     
  75.  

    The Daily Nation tweets: "UPDATE: Interior CS Lenku: A few more hostages rescued but a few still remain; security has been beefed up at airports and seaports #Westgate"

     
  76.  
    0939:

    One survivor, Jasmine Postwalla, who is head of operations at East FM in Nairobi - a radio station aimed at Kenya's Asian community - has been speaking to BBC Hindi: "Our drive-time presenter Ruhila, who was eight months pregnant, died, so did the sponsor of our show. I know that two or three children and their mothers, who we knew, also lost their lives. My leg got fractured and there is a metal shard in my leg, but I am OK."

     
  77.  
    0940:

    Ms Postwalla continued: "I think we lay there on the floor for about two hours, clueless about what was happening. Then things quietened. We saw a foreigner with a pistol, indicating that we should go towards him. We didn't know who he was so we were scared. We were then taken to the kitchen of a coffee shop which opened into an exit door. Luckily, we were able to get out of there."

     
  78.  
    A young man, Stephen, who lost his father in the attack, cries outside Nairobi's morgue A young man, known only as Stephen, who lost his father in the attack, is comforted by relatives outside the city morgue
     
  79.  
    Fredrick Jjemba, Lusaka, Zambia

    emails: I feel so bitter on the attack of these goons on civilisation, and its time the world got up and and made terrorism their first agenda. If we can send technology to Mars, can't we find a sleeping tablet for terrorists, so that we make them sleep and save lives they shield around themselves?

     
  80.  
    0943:

    The Daily Telegraph's Aislinn Laing reports that after lying on her stomach for 20 minutes along with other journalists and paramedics outside the Westgate shopping centre, the panic was actually started by a man who tried to grab a gun. It is unclear what the man's intentions were but he certainly caused panic, she says.

     
  81.  
    0949:

    New Australian prime minister Tony Abbott is the latest leader to condemn the attack: "The actions of this group of extremists have caused extensive loss of life and injury to many innocent people," he said in a statement. "That an Australian was among those killed in the attack is a terrible reminder that Australia is not immune from acts of terrorism around the world and that al-Qaeda-linked groups continue to present a serious global threat."

     
  82.  
    Pan Bdr Kshetry, Kathmandu, Nepal

    emails: Killing of innocent people in the name of religion is not true religion. It is a crime against the whole humanity.

     
  83.  
    Hundreds of people queue to give blood to victims of the attack at a temporary donation centre at Uhuru Park in Nairobi Hundreds of people queue to donate blood to victims of the attack at a temporary centre set up at Uhuru Park in Nairobi
     
  84.  
    0952:

    Earlier, we reported that the ICC had adjourned the trial of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto for a week to allow him to return home to help deal with the current crisis. His lawyer, Karim Khan, told an emergency session of the court: "One wouldn't have expected, or the world would have found it intolerable, if the president and vice-president of the United States were not in the country after 9/11. Well, this is Kenya's 9/11."

     
  85.  
    0956:

    Fears that the terrorists could have rigged the mall with explosives were cited as one of the reasons why the final assault on the attackers was delayed, Kenyan newspaper The Standard quotes sources as saying, as seen by BBC Monitoring. Another factor that slowed down the assault was the shooting and killing of at least two centre security guards in the early stages of the operation, it reports.

     
  86.  
    0958:

    Kamal Kaur is a radio presenter who was with her two young children taking part in a cookery demonstration at the centre when the attack began. She told BBC Radio 5 live: "A grenade went off near us. They threw a grenade at us and that went off and shots were fired at us and this one shot just missed my son by an inch. Unfortunately, it hit another boy next to him and we all fell over at that point. I was urging the kids to put their heads down, to lie down flat on the ground."

     
  87.  
    Lucie, Nairobi

    emails: I can't believe this is happening. Knowing many people who have lost friends, and many more who have been injured, it feels all the more real. I only hope that the hostages are saved. Yet it makes me happy to hear how the whole of Nairobi is coming together to give blood, and help the forces surrounding the shopping centre. My hopes and fervent wishes go out to those in Westgate.

     
  88.  
    1008:

    In The Hague, Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto said it was clear the Nairobi attack was linked to the presence of Kenyan troops in Somalia (where they have been fighting the al-Shabab militants since 2011): "It is because of the Somali problem that Kenya is engaged in that these terrorist attacks have been waged on Kenya."

     
  89.  
    1009:

    Mr Ruto adds: "We hope that some people will begin to contextualise what is going on and begin to appreciate the challenges that Kenya is going through, the region is going through and the complications that are brought by what is going on here."

     
  90.  
    Faith, Nairobi

    emails: Still traumatized by the events that unfolded in the mall while i was at my workstation. Managed to be rescued by police officers uninjured after three hrs of waiting inside the Nakumatt supermarket at the backroom. Never have i experienced such, lost most of my workmates in the shootings. God save Kenya.

     
  91.  
    1012:

    DJs on Nairobi's Kass FM radio morning show, "What is the country saying", said the Westgate attack could be looked at as Kenya's 9/11, BBC Monitoring reports.

     
  92.  
    1013:

    BBC Monitoring adds: Kass FM listeners phoned in with goodwill messages and prayers. One caller said: "Satan comes through in many ways. We were recently praying about The Hague issue and now there is this situation, we don't even know which is worse." Another listener texted: "This is a time for Kenyans to come together and pray, not a time for politics. We should donate blood."

     
  93.  
    Zephaniah Nyambaka, Nairobi

    emails: This horrendous tragedy fully depicts how this country has poor security. Our borders are not well sealed. If we don't up our game then we are the victims of Al Shabab for long. My cousin works with Nakumatt supermarket at Westgate but luckily he escaped unhurt.

     
  94.  
    1016: Anna Holligan BBC News, The Hague

    writes: "For the ICC, any attempt to force William Ruto to sit in court while his country deals with the aftermath of this devastating attack might have been the final straw that would break the diplomatic efforts to maintain Kenyan co-operation. The country is already planning to withdraw its membership of the court and will use an African Union summit next month to encourage other nations to follow suit."

     
  95.  
    Mohammed Ali, chief investigations editor at Kenyan TV station KTN,

    tweets: Are these the pple that we are dealing with? They fit the eyewitness description. pic.twitter.com/4WTqZAjca5

     
  96.  
    1021:

    Several blasts are reported at the Westgate shopping centre and smoke can be seen rising from the area.

     
  97.  
    1025:

    Kenyan troops are seen running in an area of the shopping centre and further gunshots are heard.

     
  98.  
    1026:

    Four Britons are now confirmed to have died in the Kenya attack, the UK Foreign Office says.

     
  99.  
    Charles Wafula, Nairobi

    tweets: Terrorists may scare us momentarily but they cannot intimidate us continually #Westgate #Kenya

     
  100.  
    Kenyan security officer and dog patrol outside the Westgate centre A Kenyan security officer and dog patrol outside the Westgate shopping centre
     
  101.  
    Sunny Bindra, Kenya

    tweets: Blood donations prove we can share blood. We can also share our humanity. #Westgate

     
  102.  
    Anna Holligan BBC News, The Hague

    tweets: "Court adjourned. Decision on whether #Ruto should be allowed to stay away for more than one week expected Friday #ICC"

     
  103.  

    Kenya's Daily Nation ‏tweets: "Very loud explosions http://bit.ly/15OeWp8 #WestgateAttack pic.twitter.com/9ugbCGHmQK"

     
  104.  

    A few minutes ago, the Kenyan police tweeted: "We urge the public to stay away from West Gate and its environs for their own safety as we intensify our operations to end this cruel act."

     
  105.  
    Jennifer Mbogo, Nairobi

    tweets: I suspect the prolonged siege instead of usual suicide bombing is to grab as big an audience as possible b4 they do their worst. #Westgate

     
  106.  
    1039:

    UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond says four British nationals are now confirmed to have died in the attack. He says their next of kin have been informed. Mr Hammond also says the UK "stands ready" to provide more assistance to the Kenyan authorities.

     
  107.  
    1040:

    Reuters quotes one unnamed security official at the scene: "It is us who caused the explosion, we are trying to get in through the roof."

     
  108.  
    Jerome Starkey, The Times' Africa correspondent,

    tweets: Volunteers at the Oshwal triage centre are dressed in bin bags, so they can carry out the #Westgate dead.

     
  109.  
    Tato Mayne, Nairobi

    tweets: Huge smoke rises from the mall. #Westgate Nothing but prayer.

     
  110.  
    John Malou Manyiel, Kampala, Uganda

    emails: We are all in Kenya by spirit and our thoughts and prayers are with those affected in this sickening attack by terrorists. The children and women of who are very innocent being killed and held hostage for three days. Only one thing, the unity shown by Kenyans and the world opened a new hope that one day terrorism will be put to an end. May God bless those in operations!

     
  111.  
    1049: Emily Buchanan BBC world affairs correspondent

    writes: "The attack has particular power because everyone can imagine being a victim. Those killed were just ordinary shoppers and this was a very soft target. These militants are not fighting a battle against the Kenyan army - these were unarmed civilians."

     
  112.  
    1050:

    Many Kenyans have changed their profile picture on Facebook to the national flag as an act of solidarity, says Yusuf Dayo from BBC Swahili.

     
  113.  
    Kenyans line up to donate blood for victims in Sunday's terrorist attack on a shopping mall, at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, Kenya (23 Sept. 2013)

    Many Kenyans came forward to donate blood for the large numbers of wounded. For more pictures, see our latest picture gallery.

     
  114.  
    Mike Wooldridge BBC News, Nairobi

    reports: "There appears to have been a dramatic turn of events in the operation to rescue the hostages still being held by the al-Shabab militants and to bring their siege to an end. It is not clear as yet what has caused that, or what impact it is having on the hostage rescue operation. More troops can be seen on the move around the building."

     
  115.  
    Onchangu Eric, Nairobi

    emails: I am 400m away and i can see heavy black smoke i hope we don't have innocent victims in that smoke

     
  116.  
    1106:

    Security forces have told the BBC's Komla Dumor to expect more casualties as police storm the Westgate shopping centre.

     
  117.  
    Kenyan police keep onlookers back as they wait for news outside the Westgate centre Kenyan police keep onlookers back as they wait for news outside the Westgate centre
     
  118.  

    Military aircraft seen flying low as smoke rises over the Westgate shopping centre, Kenya's Daily Nation reports.

     
  119.  
    Kenya Police

    tweet: Thumbs up to our multi-agency team, we have just managed to rescue some hostages. We're increasingly gaining advantage of the attackers.

     
  120.  
    Aden Mohamed, Mogadishu, Somalia

    Emails: Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and those injured. I wish them quick recovery...Mogadishu is with Nairobi.....

     
  121.  
    Kenya Police

    tweet: As we intensify our operations, we URGE the public, to stay away from West Gate & its environs for their own safety. Pls RT

     
  122.  
    Yolande Knell Middle East correspondent, BBC News, in Jerusalem

    There have been warnings in the past from Israeli authorities that the Westgate centre could be a target because of its Israeli connections. Its owner is Israeli as are the owners of various businesses within it. There is also a history of attacks on Israeli interests in Kenya. In 2002, Islamic extremists attacked the Israeli-owned Paradise hotel, killing 10 Kenyans and three Israelis.

     
  123.  
    1129:

    "Almost all" hostages evacuated from the shopping mall, Kenya's interior minister tells Reuters.

     
  124.  
    1131:

    The militants started a fire inside the Nakumatt supermarket, within the centre, the interior minister says, according to Reuters.

     
  125.  
    1132:

    The minister says he can confirm that two of the militants have been killed. All of the terrorists are men, he adds, but some are dressed as women. All of this is coming to us via the Reuters agency.

     
  126.  

    Tributes have been paid to Ross Langdon, a British citizen believed to have died in the siege. The architecture firm where he worked, Regional Associates, said in a statement: "Profoundly talented and full of life, Ross enriched the lives of all those around him. Ross's leadership on projects throughout East-Africa was inspirational, and he will be will be very, very sorely missed by us all."

     
  127.  
    Smoke billowing from the Westgate centre Smoke billowing from the Westgate centre
     
  128.  
    1139: Caroline Karobia BBC News, Nairobi

    Kenya's interior minister, Joseph Ole Lenku, currently addressing the press, has confirmed that the fire was caused by "terrorists". He says two of the militants were killed this morning and some injured.

     
  129.  

    "They were shooting anybody and everyone who came in their way," says a survivor of the Westgate attack. He told the BBC World Service he confronted one of the gunmen. "I actually saw him face-to-face - he did fire two shots at me, but I don't know how he missed."

     
  130.  
    1142: Anne Soy BBC News

    I can see a military armoured vehicle driving out, away from the scene. We do not know what is going on. Helicopters fly over every now and again. The military operation appears organised.

     
  131.  
    Michael Shuval Producer, BBC Arabic

    tweets: Senior Israeli security official: "There are no Israeli soldiers fighting in #Kenya. There are no Israeli hostages in the mall."

     
  132.  

    For all the BBC's coverage of events in Nairobi, visit our Special Report page.

     
  133.  
    1156:

    Here's another view of the smoke currently billowing from the shopping centre. Kenya's interior minister says the fire was started by the militants who set mattresses alight in a supermarket.

    Smoke rises from the roof top of the Westgate centre, on September 23, 2013
     
  134.  
    Daniel Howden, Africa correspondent for the Independent newspaper,

    tweets: Kenya police firing tear gas and warning shots at Kenyan onlookers. Crowd getting angry #westgate

     
  135.  
    Bryan Omoto, Kenya

    Tweets: it's crazy over here, the levels of anxiety are extreme, we still waiting for a word of the events unfolding.

     
  136.  
    Jon Williams, foreign editor at ABC,

    tweets: US Embassy officials had expressed concerns over faulty security at #Westgate Mall to Kenyan authorities. nyti.ms/1aXmN4r

     
  137.  

    The gunmen involved in the attack are "clearly a multinational collection from all over the world," Julius Karangi, Kenya's chief of general staff, has said. "We have an idea who they are, their nationality and even the number. We have also have an idea that this is not a local event. We are fighting global terrorism here and we have sufficient intel [intelligence] to suggest that."

     
  138.  
    Kenya's Interior Ministry

    tweets: ‏A moment of silence for the 10 officers who have been injured in the exercise they are receiving treatment. #WestgateAttack

     
  139.  
    Frank Gardner BBC security correspondent

    This incident is grimly reminiscent of the Mumbai attacks in 2008. The authorities always feared something like that would happen again and now it has.

     
  140.  
    Medics on stand-by outside the Westgate shopping centre Medics are on stand-by for more casualties outside the Westgate shopping centre
     
  141.  
    Rima Reda, Westlands, Nairobi

    emails: We live about a mile from Westgate and go there frequently - as recently as Friday night. We can see black smoke over the trees in the distance and even smell it from our flat. There are low-flying helicopters and other aircraft passing overhead literally every 2-3 minutes.

     
  142.  
    Karen Allen BBC News, Nairobi

    One security official has told me this incident will come to be seen as a massive intelligence failure. The Kenyan authorities will have to answer questions about how much they knew in advance. How were so many gunmen able to storm this building - such a high-profile, upmarket building - despite there being real concerns for some time that it was a prime terror target?

     
  143.  
    Kenyan security forces visible on an upper floor balcony of the Westgate centre Kenyan security forces visible on an upper floor balcony of the Westgate centre
     
  144.  

    "It's a despicable act - these guys are not human," one survivor of the Westgate atrocity tells the BBC World Service.

     
  145.  
    1242:

    Local Kikuyu-language radio stations are playing gospel and patriotic songs to encourage Kenyans to stand together, BBC Monitoring observes. Meanwhile, callers to Radio Nam Lolwe, which broadcasts in the Luo language, urge the government to crack down on illegal immigrants - who they believe are behind the attack.

     
  146.  
    1244:

    A survivor of the siege, Karan Samani, has praised the authorities for their response to the crisis. He was sitting in a cafe in the Westgate centre with his mother and grandmother when militants entered the building and began shooting. His mother was injured in the attack. Mr Samani said he and his family hid for around four hours before they managed to escape: "There was a car waiting for us to take my mum to the hospital; they had closed the roads, they had managed to get the army there, they had organised everything so well."

     
  147.  
    1245:

    Mr Samani adds: "And right now it's still going on; people are giving blood, they're giving food, they're giving money... It's quite amazing," he told BBC Radio 4's World at One programme.

     
  148.  
    1249:

    Journalist Hannah McNeish, who is outside the Westgate shopping centre, tells the BBC World Service's Newshour programme: "It really is like a bad action film gone wrong. It's like Nairobi is on fast forward - you can really feel the adrenaline here."

     
  149.  
    Komla Dumor BBC News, Nairobi
    Photo by Komla Dumor taken from window showing crowds and teargas. Kenyan police are using teargas to disperse crowds outside the shopping centre
     
  150.  
    1252:

    The Kenyan Red Cross has reduced the death toll from the attack to 62. The earlier figure of 69 was a result of double counting bodies being moved between morgues, the organisation said in a tweet.

     
  151.  
    Miriam Grove, Nairobi

    emails: We are still shaken as my young son and I were in the mall on Saturday at the dentist and then went shopping in Nakumat. We luckily left around 11:30am, just as a cultural event started in the upper ground car park, and as many lunch-time shoppers were starting to arrive. Can't help see faces of many different people and shop staff we passed that morning doing normal activities, and an hour or so later would have been caught up in this horrific event.

     
  152.  
    1302:

    A witness who survived the shopping mall siege said the gunmen were asking people to recite a Muslim shahada (testimonial to being a Muslim - "I testify that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is the Prophet of God"), according to Kenyan newspaper The Standard, seen by BBC Monitoring. The woman said she quickly memorised it with the help of a colleague. "When I mentioned the first word of the Shahada, they moved on. That is how I survived," she said.

     
  153.  
    Michael Onyiego, Nairobi

    tweets: Police firing tear gas around Westlands to clear creeping crowds of onlookers near #westgate

     
  154.  
    Anne Soy BBC News

    in Nairobi reports there is more sustained gunfire at the Westgate centre, and smoke is still billowing from the building.

     
  155.  
    Komla Dumor BBC News, Nairobi

    tweets: Kenyans have been extraordinary in their support of each other. I've seen people bringing free cooked food, pizza etc to soldiers on duty

    Pizza delivery to security forces
     
  156.  
    Manyang David Mayar, South Sudan

    emails: In absence or delay of my country's official condolences to Kenyan victims, I am writing to tell Kenyans that South Sudan is standing beside them. The barbaric act of a terrorist group deserves nothing else but the world's condemnation. I am glad government forces are intensifying the rescue operation for the victims being held hostages.

     
  157.  
    Claire, Nairobi

    tweets: I hope this nightmare ends soon. Spirit of giving is just amazing. God bless our country n grant us grace at this trying moment. #Westgate

     
  158.  
    1324: Karen Allen BBC News, Nairobi

    reports: There has been an escalation in the amount of gunfire in the past hour or so, which may well suggest that Kenyan officials have been able to advance.

     
  159.  
    Liban Mohamed, Norway

    emails: I feel very sad for those innocent people who died and [were] injured. These terrorists don't represent Islam. Terrorism has no religion. This is a stupid sick ideology that should be eradicated. Whatever religion we have, we must unite against this ideology.

     
  160.  
    Richard, Texas, USA

    emails: It has been a concern to many like myself that large soft targets would be hit. I pray for the people of Kenya and the victims and their families. Other nations need to take a lesson here and prepare.

     
  161.  

    The Kenyan police tweet: "We're appealing to Kenyans to remain calm, security team is doing everything possible to ensure that the hostages/team are safe."

     
  162.  
    1333:

    The attack claimed victims from several different countries - here someone signs a book of condolence for Ghanaian poet and former ambassador Kofi Awoonor at Mr Awoonor's residence in the Ghanaian capital, Accra:

    A well-wisher signs the condolences book for Ghanaian poet, professor, and former ambassador Kofi Awoonor
     
  163.  
    Kenya's The Nation newspaper

    tweets: Speaker of National Assembly Justin #Muturi says allowances for MPs for tomorrow's sitting will be donated to Westgate Mall attack victims.

     
  164.  
    Harvey Perez Zuze, Lilongwe, Malawi

    emails: Please peace be with all the Kenyans. There is always room for discussions not killing or fighting. Let all the innocent people go in peace.

     
  165.  
    Uzma, Dubai

    emails: I have lived in Nairobi for nine years and consider it my hometown. I feel saddened by what has happened and was deeply affected when I heard my school principal was also shot at, but now thankfully he is fine and is in hospital. I was also there when the 1998 bombings took place and felt like I have been thrown back in time. The way Kenyans stood united then and again now is a mark of how resilient the people are, and how race and religion have no barriers.

     
  166.  
    The Kenyan interior ministry

    tweets: ALERT: We've arrested some individuals at the airport for questioning. We ask officers dealing with vital ID docs to be very careful.

     
  167.  
    Jim Henzi, Kansas City, USA

    emails: When something like this happens, we are all affected because of the ripples of hate that are let loose. My thoughts are with the Kenyans and everyone who must deal with such atrocities.

     
  168.  

    Africa analyst Martin Plaut posits an alternative theory of who might be behind the attack, pointing to the possibility that another radical group based within Kenya, called al-Hijra, played a role.

     
  169.  
    Suzanne Seggerman, Nairobi

    tweets: Went down to volunteer at Westgate - heard the shots + explosions. Never been so close to gunfire before. Awful situation still on. #westgate

     
  170.  
    1408:
    Ruhila Adatia-Sood and her husband Ketan Sood

    Ruhila Adatia-Sood, a popular TV and radio personality, has been identified as one of the victims of the Westgate attack. She was in the rooftop car park of the shopping centre where she was part of a team hosting a cooking competition for small children at the time of the attack. Recently married, she was six months' pregnant with her first child when she died.

     
  171.  
    1411:

    "Movements like al-Shabab have incredibly sophisticated, attractive internet propaganda forums," says the BBC World Service's Africa editor Mary Harper. "They have this rousing rhetoric, they have these slick videos, and so it's quite easy to tempt and attract young men to become radicalised," she says. "It doesn't take many people to cause a maximum amount of chaos, and maximum amount of world headlines."

     
  172.  
    Ashifa Patni, Nairobi

    tweets: Very sad day to teach. Heard stories from students that children should never have to tell. #Westgate

     
  173.  
    Evah Nyagah, Kenya

    tweets: Our spirit will not and cannot be broken by an act of cowardice that targets the weak. Kenyans, WE SHALL OVERCOME! #Westgate #WeAreOne

     
  174.  
    The Kenya National Disaster Operation Centre

    tweets: All blood donation centres have closed. The supplies will be ferried to Nairobi, and some will be used to boost regional blood banks.

     
  175.  
    1422:

    Kenyans on Twitter have reacted angrily to a newspaper's graphic front-page picture of a woman with her face covered in blood and apparently screaming, BBC Monitoring reports. The image in the Daily Nation's Sunday edition carried the headline: "Mall Massacre". Twitter users have called on Kenyans to boycott the daily, saying the photo could have a traumatic effect on children and demanding that the paper apologise.

     
  176.  
    Sharon, El Fasher, North Dafur

    emails: The attack at Nairobi's mall is very disturbing and a matter that needs to be addressed by African leaders soon. We cannot allow innocent lives to die of such heinous attacks. What is al-Shabab's agenda, is it to wipe out the world or particularly those that are non-Muslim? We shall stand together and not allow such incidences to occur again.

     
  177.  
    Njogu Muranga, Kenya

    tweets: Ignorance a big problem in our country, why are those onlookers still hanging around westgate, what happens when they get injured #westgate

     
  178.  
    Kenya Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku

    tweets: Our forces are in control of all the floors.

     
  179.  
    1443:
    Kenyan security personnel and journalists duck behind a vehicle

    Sporadic bursts of gunfire have sent security forces and journalists looking for cover as the siege enters its final phase.

     
  180.  
    1459:

    The deputy chairman of the executive arm of the African Union (AU), Erastus Mwencha, has told the BBC World Service's Focus on Africa programme that the attack strengthened the AU's resolve to deal with al-Shabab: "As you know, in the last two-three years, the AU forces in Somalia - have pushed them [al-Shabab] back, they have lost ground. We also understand that within al-Shabab, they have too many groups, one of which is operating inside, and one of which is causing a menace like this one which has attacked Kenya. And so yes, our resolve is there. And of course, this will also mean strengthening the government of Somalia so it is in complete control."

     
  181.  
    Sonya Kassam, Nairobi

    tweets: It was so difficult telling my child that her classmate passed away. #Westgate

     
  182.  
    Aakaash Sehgal, Nairobi

    tweets: Continuous flurry of choppers and aeroplanes coupled with sounds of blasts and firing makes us feel as if we are in a war zone. #Westgate

     
  183.  
    1511:

    Nairobi residents have been giving the BBC World Service's Focus on Africa programme their views on the security services' reaction to the siege. One resident said: "From the 1998 bombing, Kenya must have learnt a lesson but the issue at hand was we had a hostage situation. So for a counter-terrorism unit to deal with such a situation, I think they need another level of training whereby they can be able to know how to handle criminals or terrorists, particularly when there are innocent lives being involved."

     
  184.  
    Inspector General of Kenya's police, David Kimaiyo

    tweets: Taken control of all the floors. We're not here to feed the attackers with pastries but to finish and punish them.

     
  185.  
    1529:
    A Kenya Defence Forces soldier carrying a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) walks past an armoured military vehicle in front of the Westgate shopping centre (23 September 2013)

    This soldier from the Kenyan Defence Force, pictured outside the shopping centre, is carrying a rocket-propelled grenade.

     
  186.  
    Inspector General of Kenya's police, David Kimaiyo

    tweets: Our Multi-Agencies have gunned down 2 & injured several others. I commend the officers for their bravery & the public for its calmness.

     
  187.  
    Vishal Shah, London

    emails: As a Kenyan living in London, we have been following the events closely and lost people we know. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased, injured, security forces and the people of Kenya. These extremists will never defeat us. God Bless Kenya.

     
  188.  
    Kitty McKinsey UNHCR spokesperson, East Africa

    tweets: Something I never saw in 30 yrs as journalist: civilians bringing food, coffee to journalists covering #Nairobi's #Westgate siege. Amazing!

     
  189.  
    Kenya Defence Forces

    tweets: We can confirm that 3 terrorists have been killed so far, a few others have suffered injuries

     
  190.  
    Kenya Defence Forces

    tweets: Regrettably, 11 KDF soldiers have been injured in this operation and are receiving medical attention at the Defence Forces Memorial Hospital

     
  191.  
    British Red Cross

    tweets: In response to #Westgate we have deployed two psycho social team members to #Kenya as part of the @foreignoffice's rapid deployment team.

     
  192.  
    1549: Anna Holligan BBC News, The Hague

    reports: Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has submitted a request to be excused from "continuous presence" at his International Criminal Court trial, which is due to start in November.

     
  193.  
    1551: Mike Wooldridge BBC News, Nairobi

    reports: The Kenyan government says the operation has gone very well. Officials say some of the hostage-takers are still on the run, but there is no chance for them to escape.

     
  194.  
    Mary Harper BBC World Service Africa editor

    reports: Al-Shabab can't fight on traditional fronts any more. Now that it's dominated by leaders who have an international agenda it's not surprising that they've taken this form of attack to Kenya. They've been wanting to carry out some kind of spectacular attack on foreign soil, they've carried out smaller grenade attacks and things like that in Kenya but this was really their monumental attack to show the whole world they are a force to be reckoned with.

     
  195.  
    1558:

    A Kenyan army helicopter could be seen in the smoky skies over the shopping centre:

    A Kenyan Army helicopter flies through the plume of black smoke over the Westgate Mall, in Nairobi, Kenya (23 Sept. 2013)
     
  196.  
    Dan, Nairobi

    emails: Only two of us now left on our entire floor of our office block. Could hardly concentrate all day - seeing the smoke from office window and distracted by the helicopters flying overhead. It's dark now, but some grey smoke still visible.

     
  197.  
    Kenya's interior ministry

    tweets: We've arrested more than 10 suspects for questioning in relation to #WestgateAttack

     
  198.  
    1614:

    Satpal Singh was inside the shopping mall when the gunmen opened fire. Here he tells the BBC the dramatic story of how he helped to lead some of the trapped people to safety, and even went back inside to carry the injured out of the building, despite coming under fire himself.

     
  199.  
    1618:

    Who are al-Shabab? Find out more about the Somali Islamist group with this guide from BBC News.

     
  200.  
    Meera, Nairobi

    emails: I lost my classmate who had gone for a cooking competition, and school friends in this attack. May God bless the soul of the terrorists who have lost their minds.

     
  201.  
    Matthew Norton, Kenya

    tweets: communities where we work in rural Kenya giving the very little they have financially in support of #Westgate. Amazing!

     
  202.  
    1633:

    The White House has issued a statement saying it has been concerned about al-Shabab efforts to recruit Americans, according to Reuters. But, it says, it has no confirmation that any US citizens were involved in the shopping centre attack.

     
  203.  
    Shakira, Nairobi

    emails: I want to send a heartfelt thank you for the kindness and help of all of the Nakumatt staff on the day of the attack. We took refuge in the supermarket and despite fearing for their own lives, members of staff guided us through the store to hiding places. Bless them all and may peace prevail in Westgate and in Kenya.

     
  204.  
    1638: Jon Sopel BBC News

    reports: Intense activity going on here outside the Westgate centre suggests the siege is not yet over, despite the Kenyan police force saying they have control of all floors of the building.

     
  205.  
    1639:

    Two Somali MPs were caught up in the violence at the shopping centre. Ali Khalif Galeyr, a former prime minister, told the BBC Somali Service he had been having coffee with fellow parliamentarian Buri Hamza and an African Union political liaison officer from Burundi when the attack began. Mr Galeyr said they ignored the gunfire until they saw people coming towards them covered in blood. His two colleagues escaped but he "crawled under a table where I stayed for about 45 minutes". He managed to creep out to safety when the shooting subsided.

     
  206.  
    1644:

    As darkness fell in Nairobi on Monday evening, smoke could still be seen coming from the mall. The crisis is entering its third night.

    A Kenyan TV presenter stands in front of smoke rising from Westgate Mall on September 23, 2013
     
  207.  
    Ahmed Mahat, Nairobi

    Emails: It is a sad day for my country but I am sure we will overcome. This terrorists are out to destroy our country but our unity will defeat them. They don't represent any religion and they still remain to be terrorists. Finally I would like to thank our defence forces and the Kenya Red Cross for the good work they are doing.

     
  208.  
    Urvi Shah, London

    emails: I am a Kenyan now living in the UK and even though we aren't in Kenya this has affected us all. We have been closely following the news and latest updates on the situation and we all hope that it comes to an end soon and the families who have lost their loved ones can find peace. We are Kenyans. We are one.

     
  209.  
    1656:

    Nakumatt, one of the retailers affected by the siege, says that 229 of its 234 staff on duty at Westgate on Saturday are safe. In a tweet, the company said that two members of staff were in hospital, two colleagues had suffered fatal gun wounds, and one was missing.

     
  210.  
    1716:

    The BBC's John Sopel, outside the mall in Nairobi, has been speaking to Muslim resident Sanaa Sidi about her reactions to the violence. Ms Sidi said her friend's niece and nephew had both been shot in the attack. She said: "This is not Islam, it is terrorism -- they have their own religion."

     
  211.  
    1725:

    Kenyan soldiers near the Westgate Mall, where the siege still appears to be underway.

    Kenyan soldiers leave the near vicinity of the Westgate Mall.
     
  212.  
    1736:

    The President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, has been speaking about what he says is a global threat from al-Shabab, the group that has claimed responsibility for the mall attack. In a speech at Ohio State University, Mr Mohamud said his government was determined to banish the militant organisation from Somalia. "Today there are clear evidences that Shabab is not a threat to Somalia and Somali people only," he said, according to AP. "They are a threat to the continent of Africa, and the world at large."

     
  213.  
    1755:

    Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto has been speaking after retuning home from The Hague, where he is on trial for crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court. He condemned the "monstrous and appalling" violence of the attackers and called for them to be "fought mercilessly and defeated".

     
  214.  
    1755:

    Mr Ruto also praised the efforts of Kenyans swept up in the attacks. "We have answered cowardice with solid courage," he said.

     
  215.  
    1759:

    UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has said his "best estimate" is that six Britons have been killed in the attack in Kenya.

     
  216.  
    1809:

    Kenyan Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku has told the BBC it is unlikely that there are more hostages in the complex but admitted that operations were not over. The "problem", he said, was at its tail end but would continue cautiously into the night.

     
  217.  
    1810:

    Mr Lenku added that the "possibilities of any more hostages in the Westgate mall are limited... We do not rule out however people hiding in cupboards and small places around the mall".

     
  218.  
    1815:

    US President Barack Obama has said his country is providing all the assistance it can to Kenya following the mall attacks, according to Reuters. He called the assault a "terrible outrage".

     
  219.  
    1828:

    Former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer has told the BBC that she hopes the Westgate attack will have a unifying effect on Kenya. She said she hopes that political divisions will be put aside.

     
  220.  
    1832:

    Members of Nairobi's Somali community are seen here delivering food and drinks to soldiers and security personnel near the Westgate shopping centre.

    Members of Nairobi's Somali community are seen here delivering food and drinks to soldiers and security personnel near the Westgate shopping centre.
     
  221.  
    1846:

    British Prime Minister David Cameron has tweeted that six Britons have been killed in the Westgate attacks. Mr Cameron earlier returned from Balmoral, Scotland, to chair an emergency meeting of Cobra - the UK government's national emergencies committee.

     
  222.  
    1910:

    Kenyan soldiers stand near the Westgate shopping centre as the crisis continues into its third night.

    Kenyan soldiers stand near the Westgate shopping centre as the crisis pushes on into its third night.
     
  223.  
    1930:

    More from Kenyan Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku. He tells the BBC World Service that the shopping mall attack will not affect his country's military operations in Somalia. "We have unfinished business there."

     
  224.  
    Lamin, Gambia

    emails: This is really disgusting and the world should know that these terrorists are not Muslims.

     
  225.  

    Abshir Weli tweets: We can't allow the actions of a warped minority undo our progress; Africa must remain united in the face of terror. #Nairobi #Somalia

     
  226.  
    1950:

    Mala, London, emails: I am a Kenyan living in London but was born and brought up in Nairobi. I am completely distraught at what has happened. Luckily no-one in my immediate family or friends was caught up in this, although being such a close-knit society we all know of someone who was.

     
  227.  
    1958:

    A British man of Somali origin has been held at Nairobi's airport in connection with the attack, according to Somalia's private TV channel Horn Cable.

     
  228.  
    2011:

    It has been reported that Israeli "security specialists" are in Nairobi advising Kenya's security services. Without confirming this, Israel's Minister for Strategic Affairs, Yuval Steinitz, told the Associated Press: "Israel is always ready to help other countries, other friendly countries, in combating terrorism."

     
  229.  
    2016:

    More details are emerging about some of the 62 victims of the attack. Britain's Louis Bawa is understood to have lost his daughter Jenah, eight, and Kenyan-born wife Zahira.

     
  230.  

    Courtney Kurz tweets: Still in shock over what happened in Nairobi. Please keep Kenya in your prayers

     
  231.  
    2035:

    If you're just joining us, welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the dramatic events in Kenya's capital Nairobi. We're bringing you the latest updates from our correspondents, expert analysis and your reaction from around the world. You can contact us via email, text or twitter.

     
  232.  
    2043:

    Kenya's government now believes all the hostages have been evacuated, a spokesman is quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

     
  233.  
    2050:

    "We think that everyone, the hostages, have been evacuated but we don't want to take any chances," government spokesman Manoah Esipisu says. "The special forces are doing their job and yes, I think we are near the end."

     
  234.  
    Emilia Rochester, Nairobi

    emails: I am British working in an international school in Nairobi. There is no-one in our large international community who is unaffected by this tragedy. The mood in school is sombre and dark, but our diversity is our strength. Staff and students in the school have witnessed things that one should never see, but through the darkness, we stand strong. The community has come together to care for and support each other.

     
  235.  

    Jason Straziuso, Nairobi-based correspondent for the Associated Press, tweets: Security official tells me: Clear hostages are still in #Westgate. If there weren't this thing would be completely over already.

     
  236.  
    2111:

    So, to re-cap: Kenyan security forces are still continuing their three-day operation to end the deadly siege at Nairobi's Westgate shopping centre - despite reports that all hostages may have been evacuated (see 2050 entry).

     
  237.  
    Gabriel Gatehouse BBC News, Nairobi

    says the security operation is still going on. "We still don't have a clear picture of what's going on inside the building."

     
  238.  
    2128:

    Washington is urgently looking into information provided by Kenya that foreign nationals were among the attackers in Nairobi, US security sources are quoted as saying by Reuters.

     
  239.  

    Disaster OpCentre KE tweets: Official press conference to follow. Time will be confirmed. Due to the lateness of the hour, this may take a while.

     
  240.  
    Obed Danso, Accra, Ghana

    emails: I'm praying for Kenya and devastated about the death of Professor Awoonor. I used his poem 'Rediscovery' during my secondary school exam. What a brilliant piece of literature.

     
  241.  
    Thiga Nelson, Nakuru, Kenya

    tweets: A positive attitude may not solve all our problems, but it will annoy enough number of our enemies #Westgate #WeAreOne

     
  242.  
    2234:

    The Kenya Defence Forces say they are continuing to secure the Westgate shopping centre. An official statement on the status of the operation is to be issued later

     
  243.  
    Boniface, Nairobi

    Emails: The attack has left we the #kenyans more united with strong contributions, blood donations, counselling volunteers and free food to the security on site.

     
  244.  
    Viv Pesa

    tweets: So proud of our Kenya Defense Forces @kdfinfo,Kenya Police & @KenyaRedCross Keep up the good work #PrayForKenya #Westgate #WeAreOne

     
  245.  
    Seth Wiafe in Accra, Ghana

    emails: Terrorism is completely unacceptable. The African Union must act swiftly to clear our continent of this deviant conduct.

     
  246.  
    2324:

    US President Barack Obama has called the attack on the Nairobi shopping centre a "terrible outrage". He said Washington was providing all the co-operation it could to Kenya.

     
  247.  
    Blake Selzer

    tweets: hoping there isn't knee-jerk reaction against Somalis and/or Muslims in Kenya, US or elsewhere as result of terrorism in Nairobi #Westgate

     
  248.  
    2343:

    We are ending our live coverage of events at the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi. You can follow the latest developments on the attack and its aftermath on the BBC News website or on our breaking news Twitter feed @bbcbreaking.

     

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