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Fresh gunfire and explosions have been heard at Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi where militants are said to be holding a number of hostages.
Sixty-eight people have been killed and more than 170 injured since the attack began in Kenya’s capital on Saturday.
Between 10 and 15 attackers – thought to be militants from the Somali al-Shabab movement – are still inside the Westgate shopping centre.
Reporters at the scene said there had been heavy and rapid bursts of fire.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced on Monday morning it was adjourning the trial of Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto on charges relating to violence following elections in 2007.
The court said William Ruto would be excused for a week to return to Nairobi to help deal with the crisis.
The battle to end the long stand-off is continuing in earnest as conditions for those trapped inside the complex deteriorate.
An unnamed Kenyan security source told the AFP news agency that an army assault was underway.
An AFP correspondent at the scene said he heard about 15 minutes of fierce gunfire which then subsided.
A photographer accompanying the correspondent said troops deployed around the mall were forced to duck for cover.
The photographer said it “sounded as if the shots were coming from somewhere around the mall, or were being fired from a vantage point in the mall”.
Sixty-eight people have been killed and more than 170 injured since the attack began in Kenya’s capital on Saturday
The defence forces said on Twitter several hours ago: “All efforts are under way to bring this matter to a speedy conclusion.”
Authorities have emphasised that it is a delicate operation as the safe rescue of the hostages is their top priority, says our correspondent.
Four soldiers had been injured in the attack by Sunday evening.
Kenyan military vehicles have been seen entering and leaving the area throughout Monday morning.
A Kenyan security official said that their forces were receiving foreign assistance, namely from Americans and Israelis.
Overnight reports said that the gunmen were holed up in a supermarket.
Earlier, defense spokesman Col. Cyrus Oguna said only a small number of hostages were still being held and most had been rescued.
As troops continued to clear the building, it was possible they would come across more bodies, Col Oguna warned on Sunday.
In a news conference on Sunday, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said the country was united and strong in adversity.
“The criminals are now located in one place within the building,” he said.
“With the professionals on site, we have as good a chance to neutralise the terrorists as we could hope for.”
Uhuru Kenyatta said his nephew and the man’s fiancée were among the dead.
President Barack Obama called President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday to express condolences and reiterate “US support for Kenya’s efforts to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice”.
The wife of an American working for the US Agency for International Development was killed, US officials said.
Prominent Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor – who was attending a literary festival in Nairobi – also died, as did a Chinese woman.
French, Dutch, South African, Indian and Canadian nationals are also among the foreigners confirmed killed, along with a dual Australian-British national.
Thousands of Kenyans responded on Sunday to appeals for blood donations.
Al-Shabab says it carried out the attack in response to Kenyan military operations in Somalia.
The group, which is part of the al-Qaeda network, has repeatedly threatened attacks on Kenyan soil if Nairobi did not pull its troops out of Somalia.
There are about 4,000 Kenyan troops in the south of Somalia, where they have been fighting the militants since 2011.
At least 22 people are reported to be dead and more than 50 injured as a gun battle continues between police and armed men at Westgate shopping centre in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.
Dozens of shoppers fled; many are still feared trapped inside.
A senior police officer originally said it was an attempted robbery but later called it a possible terrorist attack.
The Somali militant group al-Shabab had threatened to strike the centre.
It is opposed to Kenya sending troops to fight in Somalia. No group has said it carried out Saturday’s attack.
Officers have now surrounded the building in an attempt to evacuate remaining shoppers. A military helicopter has landed nearby.
Police told AFP news agency that gunmen had taken at least seven people hostage. Eyewitnesses have also said there are hostages, but there is no official confirmation.
Dozens of people are reported to have been injured.
Eyewitnesses say masked attackers threw grenades into the building at about midday local time.
Nairobi police chief Benson Kibue initially said the gunmen had been trying to rob a shop, but later called it “a terrorist attack”.
At least 22 people are reported to be dead and more than 50 injured as a gun battle continues between police and armed men at Westgate shopping centre in the Kenyan capital Nairobi
At about 18:30, more than six hours after the attack began, the Kenyan Secretary for the Interior Joseph ole Lenku said the security situation was “under control”.
He urged the public “not to speculate” about the nature of the attack, and said most people had been evacuated.
There are reports one of the gunmen has been shot dead.
Some of the attackers were reportedly dressed in hijabs, and it is unclear whether they were men or women, our correspondent says.
One man who escaped had been hiding in a supermarket but told our correspondent his friends were still trapped inside the building.
Witnesses told news agencies the gunmen ordered Muslims to leave and that non-Muslims would be targeted.
The Kenyan authorities have asked media outlets to stop broadcasting from the scene, as the information may be aiding the attackers.
Security guards used shopping trolleys to wheel out several wounded children and at least one man, AP reports.
“The gunmen tried to fire at my head but missed. There are definitely many casualties,” Sudjar Singh, who works at the shopping centre, told AFP.
“I saw three of the attackers dressed in black and with covered faces and they were carrying heavy rifles,” said another witness.
AFP quoted witnesses as saying the gunmen were speaking Arabic or Somali and executed shoppers.
Armed police took cover behind vehicles outside.
“We have officers at the scene trying to get out the group shooting inside,” a police official told AFP news agency.
“Officers are approaching the situation with caution because there are innocent civilians inside,” he said.
The Westgate centre is often frequented by wealthy Kenyans and expatriates.
Police have urged residents to stay away from the area and told media outlets to stop live transmissions from the scene.
Michael Adebolajo, one of the suspects in the Woolwich attack case, was arrested in Kenya in 2010, the Foreign Office has confirmed.
It said Michael Adebolajo, 28, was arrested there and it gave consular assistance “as normal” in the circumstances.
Michael Adebolajo was believed to have been preparing to fight with Somali militant group al-Shabab, a Kenyan government spokesman confirmed, and was later deported.
Meanwhile, police investigating soldier Lee Rigby’s murder have arrested a 22-year-old man in north London.
The arrest at Highbury Grove, on suspicion of conspiracy to murder, brings the total number made so far in the case to nine.
Members of Lee Rigby’s family have visited the scene of the killing, laying flowers at Woolwich Barracks where the 25-year-old drummer with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was based.
They hugged and comforted each other as they looked at some of the many thousands of floral tributes that have been left in his memory, before crossing the road to look at the exact spot where he was attacked.
Several hundred people gathered at the scene a few hours later, some chanting Lee Rigby’s name and waving Help for Heroes flags.
The Met Police said it was a planned community event in which a group of people intended to lay a wreath.
A small group of English Defence League members also joined the crowd, prompting organizers to complain that their plans had been “hijacked”.
The Kenyan government had previously denied that Michael Adebolajo had ever visited the country, but spokesman Muthui Kariuki said there had been some confusion as he was arrested under a different name.
Michael Adebolajo, one of the suspects in the Woolwich attack case, was arrested in Kenya in 2010
In video footage of his court appearance which emerged on Sunday, Michael Adebolajo is heard to say: “These people are mistreating us, we are innocent.”
Muthui Kariuki said Michael Adebolajo was then handed over to “British security officers” when it emerged he was a UK citizen.
Islamist insurgent group al-Shabab is affiliated to al-Qaeda and is thought to have 7,000 to 9,000 fighters. It killed 76 people in a double bomb attack in Uganda as they watched the 2010 World Cup.
Michale Adebolajo and a second man, Michael Adebowale, 22, were arrested on suspicion of the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich on Wednesday.
They remain in custody in hospital in a stable condition after being shot and wounded by police at the scene after the killing.
Three further men, aged 21, 24 and 28, were arrested in London on Saturday evening on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder – a Taser was used on two of them.
A 29-year-old man arrested earlier on suspicion of conspiracy to murder was released on bail on Saturday, while two women aged 29 and 31, arrested on Thursday, have been released without charge.
In an update on Sunday, Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Osborne said officers were examining CCTV footage, social media and forensic material as part of their investigation into Drummer Lee Rigby’s murder.
He appealed for any associates of Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale who believed they might have useful information to come forward.
Earlier on Sunday, Home Secretary Theresa May said “500 officers and others” were working on the case, including counter-terrorism officers brought in from elsewhere in the country.
Senior Whitehall sources have previously confirmed both suspects arrested at the scene of Drummer Lee Rigby’s killing were already known to security services.
When asked if there were mistakes made by the security services in dealing with this case, Theresa May said: “What we have is the right procedures which say when things like this happen we do need to look at whether there are any lessons to be learned.”
Theresa May also said a new taskforce was being set up to look at whether new powers were needed to tackle extremism.
It will be chaired by the prime minister and include senior cabinet ministers and security chiefs.
Uhuru Kenyatta has been sworn in as Kenya’s president after winning elections against Raila Odinga back in March.
Dignitaries and tens of thousands of people witnessed the inauguration at a stadium in the capital, Nairobi.
Raila Odinga did not attend the ceremony after his attempt to overturn Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory in court failed.
Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, face charges at the International Criminal Court relating to post-election violence five years ago.
Uhuru Kenyatta has been sworn in as Kenya’s president after winning elections against Raila Odinga back in March
They were on opposite sides at the time and both deny the accusations.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who faces an ICC arrest warrant over the conflict in Darfur, was not in Nairobi for the inauguration.
Uhuru Kenyatta, 51, is the son of Kenya’s founding father, Jomo Kenyatta, and is heir to one of the largest fortunes in Kenya.
He served as deputy prime minister, minister for trade, and finance minister under outgoing President Mwai Kibaki
The crowd, waving Kenyan flags, burst into rapturous welcome as Uhuru Kenyatta took the oath of office, becoming Kenya’s youngest president.
In his inaugural address, Uhuru Kenyatta said he would govern for all Kenyans.
“We will leave no community behind… Where there’s disillusionment, we’ll restore hope,” he said.
The new government would abolish maternity fees in its first 100 days and children starting school next year would be given laptops, he added.
In an apparent reference to the ICC case against him, Uhuru Kenyatta said: “I assure you again that under my leadership, Kenya will strive to uphold our international obligations, so long as these are founded on the well-established principles of mutual respect and reciprocity.”
US and European diplomats attended the inauguration, despite warning before the election that they would have limited contact with Uhuru Kenyatta if he is voted into office.
Among the African leaders present for the inauguration were South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni.
Yoweri Museveni told the cheering crowd that he wanted to applaud Kenyans for rejecting the “blackmail” of the ICC.
He supported the ICC when it was formed, but it was now being used by “arrogant actors” who were trying to “install leaders of their choice in Africa and eliminate those they don’t like”, he said.
Raila Odinga – the outgoing prime minister – did not attend the ceremony, choosing to be on holiday in South Africa instead.
Other senior members of his Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) party have also stayed away to signal their opposition to Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidency, correspondents say.
According to official results, Uhuru Kenyatta beat Raila Odinga by 50.07% to 43.28% in March, avoiding a run-off by just 8,100 votes.
Raila Odinga challenged the result, but said he would respect the Kenyan Supreme Court’s ruling in Uhuru Kenyatta’s favor.
The election was Kenya’s first after a disputed poll in 2007, which led to violence that left more than 1,200 people dead.
Uhuru Kenyatta is due to appear at the ICC for his trial in The Hague later this year, accused of crimes against humanity. He denies the charges.
Kenya is a party to the Rome Statute, the treaty which established the ICC in 2002.
But like most African countries, it has refused to enforce the ICC warrant for Omar al-Bashir’s arrest.
After Omar al-Bashir visited Kenya in 2010, a Kenyan court ruled that the government must arrest him if he returned, in line with its international obligations under the Rome Statute.
The government is appealing against the ruling.
Uhuru Kenyatta has fairly won the country’s presidential election, Kenya’s Supreme Court has ruled today rejecting several petitions challenging the vote.
Chief Justice Willy Mutunga announced the decision, saying the poll was free and fair.
The appeal was lodged by PM Raila Odinga, Uhuru Kenyatta’s main rival in the presidential poll this month.
Kenya’s Supreme Court has upheld Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidential election victory
Official results said Uhuru Kenyatta beat Raila Odinga by 50.07% to 43.28%, avoiding a run-off by just 8,100 votes.
There is tight security at the Supreme Court. Violence after a disputed election in 2007 left more than 1,200 people dead.
The presidential, legislative and municipal elections held on March 4 were the first since the 2007 poll.
Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate, William Ruto, are facing trial on charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for allegedly fuelling unrest after that election. They deny the charges.
There was tight security for the court decision, with all roads leading to the building closed.
Police chief David Kimaiyo warned on Friday that unrest would not be tolerated.
He said: “We have reports indicating that some parties have organized their supporters to converge outside the Supreme Court during delivery of the ruling, and we will not allow any such gatherings.
“There will be tight security in all parts of the country, we will not tolerate any form of violence.”
Outgoing President Mwai Kibaki has urged people to stay calm and accept the result, but much will depend on Kenyans’ faith in their newly reformed judiciary.
Lawyers for Raila Odinga said their petition to the Supreme Court included allegations of vote manipulation, as well as problems with the registration of voters and an electronic vote counting mechanism.
On Friday, the Supreme Court reviewed recounts from 22 polling stations. Both sides claimed that the recounts vindicated their position.
Uhuru Kenyatta has called the election, which was largely conducted peacefully, a “triumph of democracy”.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has insisted that the vote was credible, despite technical failures with an electronic voter ID system and the vote counting mechanism.
International observers said the poll was largely free, fair and credible, and that the electoral commission had conducted its business in an open and transparent manner.
At least 39 people have been killed in Kenya in fresh clashes between rival communities in the Tana River district, police say.
The attack by ethnic Pokomo farmers on an Orma village, Kipao, came in the early hours of the morning, they say.
Thirteen children and six women were among those killed.
Police say the latest attack was revenge for the killing of more than 100 villagers earlier this year, but some say the raids are political.
Elections are due in March 2013.
Police say that there have been casualties on both sides. Houses were reportedly burnt and villagers cut down with machetes.
Some victims bled to death as they were unable to be treated in time.
“About 150 Pokomo raiders attacked Kipao village, which is inhabited by the Ormas, early on Friday. The Ormas appeared to have been aware and were prepared,” Robert Kitur, Coast Region deputy police chief, told reporters.
He said police were pursuing the raiders, who used firearms, spears, machetes and arrows.
Villagers in the area have fled their homes in fear of revenge attacks, aid workers say.
The Red Cross say they know of at least 30 dead and 30 others seriously wounded, including a one-year-old child. More than 40 houses were set ablaze.
Search teams are said to be combing the area around Kipao, looking for further victims.
Police reinforcements and emergency officials are being flown to the scene, while the wounded are being taken to the port city of Mombasa for treatment.
In August, the two communities clashed after members of the Orma community were accused of grazing their cattle on land that the Pokomo say is theirs.
Settled Pokomo farmers and semi-nomadic Orma pastoralists have clashed intermittently for years over access to grazing, farmland and water in the coastal region.
Police, who have been camping out in the remote region, have been trying to disarm the two groups.
Tensions between the two communities have risen in recent days, they say.
Many suspect a political motive lies behind the attack.
Following the violence in August and September, an MP from the region, Assistant Livestock Minister, Dhadho Godhana, was arrested for inciting violence. He denies the charges.
The UN says the clashes may be related to the redrawing of political boundaries ahead of next year’s general election.
The last election in 2007 was marred by widespread clashes, in which more than 1,300 people were killed.
Four prominent Kenyans have been charged by the International Criminal Court over that violence.
Two of them have formed an alliance to contest the March election – their trial is due to begin a month later in The Hague.
Six Somali civilians have been shot dead by a Kenyan soldier advancing towards the al-Shabab stronghold of Kismayo, the Kenyan army has confirmed.
The soldier has been detained pending an investigation, it said, noting the incident followed a militant attack.
Somali army spokesman Adan Mohamed Hirsi earlier said: “It was a deliberate killing.”
Meanwhile, the Hizbul Islam group has announced that it is leaving the al-Shabab militant organization.
It is a significant setback for al-Shabab, following recent military defeats.
Kenyan troops intervened in Somalia a year ago after a spate of cross-border attacks blamed on the al-Qaeda linked al-Shabab.
The shooting happened about 50 km (30 miles) from Kismayo, the largest city still in militant hands.
Six Somali civilians have been shot dead by a Kenyan soldier advancing towards the al-Shabab stronghold of Kismayo
Adan Mohamed Hirsi condemned the killings and asked the Somali government to take action.
“This incident is very hurtful,” he said, adding that a group of young men were shot outside a shop in the village of Janay Abdalla.
They were reportedly queuing to buy sugar.
As well as those killed, two civilians were seriously wounded, Adan Mohamed Hirsi said.
Kenyan military spokesman Col. Cyrus Oguna said the incident happened shortly after al-Shabab militants attacked Kenyan soldiers who were escorting people to collect water from a well in the village, killing five civilians and one soldier.
“Later on in the day, several people approached KDF [Kenya Defence Forces] defensive positions, where a KDF soldier allegedly opened fire killing six people,” he said in a statement.
“The soldier was disarmed and has since been put on guarded seclusion,” he said, adding that appropriate action would be taken after the investigation.
Col. Cyrus Oguna said the Kenyan operations in Somalia should not be judged by this “unfortunate incident” and that the “utmost care and concern for civilian safety” were taken.
Kenyan forces have in the past been accused of causing civilian deaths in Kismayo while shelling al-Shabab targets inside the city from ships operating off the coast.
Some 10,000 people have fled Kismayo in the past week, the United Nations refugee agency estimates.
Al-Shabab has been forced out of the capital, Mogadishu, and several other towns over the past year but still controls much of the countryside in south and central Somalia.
However, it still stages frequent attacks.
On Saturday, gunmen shot dead a member of Somalia’s new parliament in Mogadishu.
Mustafa Haji Maalim was gunned down after leaving a mosque in the southern Waberi district following evening prayers, witnesses said.
The dead lawmaker was the father-in-law of former President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, and is the first parliamentarian to be targeted since a new 275-member assembly was selected in August.
No-one has so far claimed the attack, though al-Shabab has previously vowed to kill government officials.
On Thursday, a double suicide attack in Mogadishu targeting a restaurant recently opened by Somalis from the diaspora killed 18 people.
Hizbul Islam spokesman Mohamed Moalim said his group still wanted the African Union mission to leave Somalia but welcomed the new president and parliament as a “positive development”.
He said the split was due to long-standing ideological differences, such as his group’s opposition to the use of foreign jihadis.
The two forces merged in 2010, following bitter clashes.
Since the overthrow of President Siad Barre in 1991, Somalia has seen clan-based warlords, Islamist militants and its neighbors all battling for control.
Ethnic clashes in Moyale area, southern Ethiopia, are reported to have left at least 18 people dead and 12 others injured.
More than 20,000 people have crossed into Kenya to escape the fighting, the Kenyan Red Cross says.
People were continuing to cross the border although Ethiopian government forces had intervened to stop the fighting.
The clashes, in the Moyale area, are thought to have been sparked by a simmering dispute over land rights.
More than 20,000 people have crossed into Kenya to escape Moyale fighting in Ethiopia
Fighting involving the Borana and Garri communities is said to have started mid-week, and to have continued until Friday.
Local reports speak of armed militias taking up positions in outlying villages on Wednesday, with the fighting spreading to Moyale town, on the Ethiopia-Kenya border, on Thursday.
Many of those who fled across the border into the Kenyan side of Moyale are having to sleep out in the open.
The Red Cross says it is providing those who have been displaced with food, water and tarpaulins.
Kenyan Internal Security Minister George Saitoti has died in a helicopter crash, officials say.
Officials say George Saitoti and his deputy, Orwa Ojode, have been killed when the aircraft went down west of Nairobi, bursting into flames as it hit the ground.
There is no word on the cause of the crash, in which six people were killed, including bodyguards and pilots.
George Saitoti, 66, a former vice-president, had been planning to run in a forthcoming presidential poll.
He was on his way to a security meeting when his helicopter crashed on Sunday morning.
An AFP agency news journalist saw six charred bodies being removed from the wreckage.
Officials say George Saitoti and his deputy, Orwa Ojode, have been killed when the aircraft went down west of Nairobi, bursting into flames as it hit the ground
Another reporter at the scene says debris of the burnt-out police helicopter were strewn in the brush.
George Saitoti had been a key figure in Kenyan politics, holding a number of senior ministerial posts over the last 30 years.
The professor of mathematics joined Daniel Arap Moi’s government as a finance minister in 1983, going on to become his vice-president in 1988.
He briefly stepped down as education minister in 1996 over accusations he was involved in the Goldenberg financial scandal, but was reinstated when a Kenyan court ruled he should not be charged.
After years as a senior member in the long-dominant Kanu party, George Saitoti joined the current president Mwai Kibaki’s National Alliance of Kenya in 2002.
As Internal Security Minister under Mwai Kibaki, he was a leading government voice against the Somali militant group al-Shabab.
Kenyan troops have been fighting al-Shabab in Somalia since they sent troops into the country last October.
The militants have killed several people in a string of grenade attacks in various parts of Kenya, including Nairobi.
George Saitoti announced he would stand for the presidency last November.
No date for the presidential election has so far been set. Mwai Kibaki’s mandate ends in January 2013.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga – a rival of both Mwai Kibaki and George Saitoti – has also announced he was standing for president.
The last presidential election, in December 2007, was followed by a wave of ethnic and political violence in which about 1,500 were killed.
Raila Odinga has warned about the emergence of ethnically-based political groups in the run-up to the next poll.
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