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Kenya: Americans, Woman Among Mall Attackers

Kenya: Americans, Woman Among Mall Attackers

(NEWSER– Is the siege of Nairobi's Westgate Mall finally near an end? Kenyan authorities say they believe all the hostages have been released, but journalists from the APand Reuters heard yet more gunfire and explosions as the Kenyan military moved through the building. Officials say the military is going from floor to floor and room to room in the darkened building searching for surviving militants, theLos Angeles Times reports. Somalia's al-Shabab militant group tweeted early today that its fighters "are still holding their ground" and their captives are "still alive, looking quite disconcerted but, nevertheless, alive."

In other developments:

  • Kenya's foreign minister told PBS Newshour last night that two or three Americans were involved in the attack. She said they were of Arab or Somali origin, 18 or 19 years old, and had lived "in Minnesota and one other place" in the US. She said a British woman who had "done this many times before" was also involved, contradicting another minister's statement that all the attackers were men. Security officials and soldiers toldReuters that a white woman was among the attackers killed, though they couldn't confirm whether she was Samantha Lewthwaite, the al-Shabab-linked widow of a British terrorist.

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