30 dead in Nairobi mall attack claimed by militants

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A Red Cross official in Kenya says 30 people have been killed in an attack on an upscale Nairobi mall, and the death toll is likely to rise.

Foreigners are expected to be among the casualties. There are reports of American citizens injured in the attack but the U.S. State Department said it had no further details.

Witnesses say the attack was carried out by at least five people — including at least one woman. It began in an outdoor cafe with bursts of gunfire and grenades.

One witness says the gunmen told hostages that non-Muslims would be targeted, but Muslims were free to get up and leave.

As night fell in Kenya’s capital, hostages remained inside the mall, but officials didn’t or couldn’t say how many. Two contingents of army special forces troops moved inside as the stand-off stretched on.

A Somali militant group linked to al-Qaida is claiming responsibility for the attack.

A statement from al-Shabab on its official Twitter feed says the attack is retribution for military action by Kenya inside Somalia. The group says it’s now shifting the battlefield to Kenya.

APPHOTO XKS109: Security helps a wounded woman outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, after gunmen threw grenades and opened fire during an attack that left multiple dead and dozens wounded. A witness to the attacks on the upscale shopping mall says that gunmen told Muslims to stand up and leave and that non-Muslims would be targeted. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi) (21 Sep 2013)

<<APPHOTO XKS109 (09/21/13)££

APPHOTO XKS110: Armed special force aim their guns at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya on Saturday, Sept. 21 2013, after gunmen threw grenades and opened fire during an attack that left multiple dead and dozens wounded. A witness to the attacks on the upscale shopping mall says that gunmen told Muslims to stand up and leave and that non-Muslims would be targeted(AP Photo/Khalil Senosi) (21 Sep 2013)

<<APPHOTO XKS110 (09/21/13)££

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