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Nairobi siege over, questions remain (Updated)

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The four-day siege of a Nairobi, Kenya shopping mall by Islamic gunmen appears to be over, leaving at least 67 dead. Update: Details are started to come in on why the recapture of the mall took so long. 

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Kenyan paramilitaries drive towards the Westgate mall on September 24, 2013 in Nairobi. Six soldiers were killed during the four-day siege. AFP

Afternoon update:

The Daily Nation newspaper of Nairobi, Kenya has been providing details of why the recapture of the Westgate mall was so difficult and bloody.

The newspaper said that sources within the Kenyan Defence forces said that the attack had been planned meticulously and weapons had been brought in advance. The militants knew the building well and some of them had entered the control room. They were able to use the CCTV system to see the movements of the security forces until power was cut off to the room.

The mall was retaken by 20 Special Forces troopers from the Kenyan Army after a two-hour fire-fight on Monday afternoon, the Nation sources said.

One key development was the killing of a sniper on the third floor who had kept the security forces at bay for nearly 24 hours.

For much more, go to the Daily Nation website: http://www.nation.co.ke/-/1148/1148/-/xvvu7uz/-/index.html

Nairobi siege over, questions remain

The four-day siege of a Nairobi, Kenya shopping mall by Islamic gunmen appears to be over, but hard information is still difficult to come by.

"The operation is now over," Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta told Kenyans in a televised address. "We have ashamed and defeated our attackers."

He announced three days of national mourning.

"Losses are immense" , Mr Kenyatta said, confirming that 61 civilians and six soldiers had died.

He said there are still bodies in the upscale Westgate mall under rubble of floors that collapsed from a fire set by the militants.

Smoke rises from the Westgate mall on September 24, 2013. Sporadic gunfire and a series of explosions rang out throughout the day. AFP

The Red Cross had earlier listed 63 people as unaccounted for and it is unclear how many of them may be among the dead.

Eleven people suspected of involvement with the well-planned and executed assault were in custody, the Kenyan president added. But he did not say how many, if any, were gunmen taken alive and how many may have been people arrested elsewhere.

The identity and origin of the attackers remains unknown. Speculation has been strong that some were American and British of Somali origin and there were also unconfirmed reports that the attackers were led by a British woman. Five of the attackers were reported to have been killed during the four-day siege.

175 people were injured in the attack that began on Saturday when masked militants stormed the packed shopping mall spraying gunfire and indiscriminately killing and wounding dozens of people. 62 people remain in hospital and many others are being treated for shock and are undergoing counselling.

The militants reportedly said they were acting in revenge for the Kenyan government sending troops to neighbouring Somalia as part of an African Union peacekeeping force.

Compiled from agency stories

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Vocabulary:

address: a formal speech - คำปราศรัย

appear: to seem - ดูเหมือนจะ, ดูเหมือนว่า

arrest: (of the police or, in this case, soldiers) to take someone under control because they are believed to have committed a crime - จับกุม

assault: a sudden, violent attack - การทำร้าย

CCTV: a television system that works within a limited area, for example a public building, to protect it from crime - โทรทัศน์วงจรปิด (ซีซีทีวี)

civilian: someone who does not belong to the armed forces or the police - พลเรือน

come by: to get, esp in negative statements, e.g., "hard to come by" -

counselling: listening to and giving support or professional advice to somebody who needs help - การให้คำปรึกษา, การให้คำแนะนำ

custody: the state of being in prison or under police control, especially while waiting for trial - การกักขัง, การคุมขัง

defeat: to win a victory over someone in a fight, war or competition - ชนะ, ปราบ

details: small facts or pieces of information relating to a situation - รายละเอียด

execute: to do or perform something, especially in a planned way - ดำเนินการ

identity: who or what somebody/something is - ชื่อ เอกลักษณ์

immense: very much - มากมาย

in advance: before the time that is expected; before something happens - ล่วงหน้า

indiscriminately: without considering who or what you harm or destroy - อย่างขาดการพิจารณา

injured: hurt in an accident or attack - ได้รับบาดเจ็บ

involvement: the act or process of taking part in something - การเกี่ยวข้อง

keep at bay: to keep under control - ควบคุม ไว้ได้

masked: wearing something to cover part or all of your face in order to hide who you are - ซึ่งสวมหน้ากาก

meticulously: in a very thorough way and with careful attention to detail - อย่างพิถีพิถัน

militant: someone who uses violent methods to achieve something   - นักรบ

mourning: the process or ceremony of expressing great sadness because someone has died - ไว้อาลัย

neighbouring: located or living near or next to a place or person - ติดกัน, ที่อยู่ใกล้เคียง, ที่ตั้งอยู่ใกล้เคียง

operation: a planned activity involving a lot of people, especially soldiers or police officers - การปฏิบัติการ

origin: the place where someone/something comes from - ที่มา, ต้นกำเนิด

packed: crowded; full of people or things - แน่น

paramilitary rangers: unofficial soldiers who are specially trained to make surprise attacks on an enemy and who support a country’s regular army  - ทหารอาสา

remain: to stay in the same place; to not leave - ยังอยู่, พักอยู่, รออยู่

reportedly: as reported (often used for showing that you are not certain that something you are reporting is true) - ตามที่รายงาน

revenge: something that you do to hurt or punish someone because they have hurt you or someone else - การแก้แค้น

security forces: members of the military (army, navy, air force, and similar organizations) or police -

shock: a strong feeling of surprise as a result of something happening, especially something unpleasant; the event that causes this feeling - ช็อค, ความสะดุ้ง, อาการช็อค

siege: the act of going into a place and taking control away from the people or government there, especially in an operation that lasts for some time - การเข้ายึดครอง

sniper: someone who shoots at people from a hidden place - ผู้ลอบยิง

source: someone who gives information - แหล่งข่าว

speculation: ideas or discussion about what might happen or has happened or why something has happened without having complete information - การคาดการณ์

sporadic: not regular or frequent - ซึ่งเกิดขึ้นนานๆ ครั้ง, ที่เกิดขึ้นเป็นพักๆ

spray gunfire: to shoot a lot of bullets in many directions in a short period of time - กระสุน

suspected: thought to have done something wrong - เป็นที่สงสัย

treat: to provide medical care - รักษา

trooper: someone of low rank in the army who fights on a horse or in an armoured vehicle - พลทหารม้า

troops: soldiers, especially in large numbers - กองทหาร

unaccounted for: a person or thing that cannot be found and people do not know what has happened to them or it - ซึ่งหายไป

upscale: designed for or used by people who belong to a high social class or have a lot of money - มีราคาแพง (สำหรับคนมีรายได้สูง)

weapon: an object such as a knife, gun, bomb, etc. that is used for fighting or attacking somebody - อาวุธ

wound: to cause to be hurt, especially where the skin or flesh is damaged, usually seriously - ทำให้บาดเจ็บ

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