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Kenyan president: Mall terrorists defeated

  • A Kenyan soldier runs through a corridor on an upper floor, shortly before an explosion was heard, at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

NAIROBI, Kenya — The terrorists who took control of a Nairobi mall and held off Kenyan security forces for four days have been defeated after killing at least 67 civilians and government troops, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said Tuesday.

He said those killed include 61 civilians whose bodies have been recovered so far and six security forces, while nearly 200 were injured, including 62 who remain hospitalized.

Three floors of the mall collapsed and several bodies were trapped in the rubble, said Kenyatta. His office later said a terrorist's body was among those in the debris.

Five other attackers were killed by gunfire, he said.

"We have ashamed and defeated our attackers," Kenyatta said in the televised address to the nation.

He said 11 other suspects had been arrested; authorities had previously announced the arrest of seven at the airport and three elsewhere.

"These cowards will need justice as well their accomplices and patrons, wherever they are," Kenyatta said.

Kenyatta declared three days of national mourning starting Wednesday.

Kenyan forces had for more than two days said they were in the "final phase" of the operation, only to be battled back by the militants inside the building.

Explosions rang from the upscale Westgate mall in Nairobi throughout Tuesday, and the chatter of gunfire from inside the building could also be heard. Fresh smoke rose from the building in the afternoon.

The Kenyan Red Cross had previously said 62 people had been killed, and it seemed certain that the number of confirmed deaths would rise as security forces comb the building.

Nairobi's city morgue had already braced for the arrival of a large number of bodies of people killed, an official said.

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