Explosion rocks Nairobi mall as troops battle Islamists | Bangkok Post: news

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Explosion rocks Nairobi mall as troops battle Islamists

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  • Writer: Agencies
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A large explosion rocked the Kenyan mall where Islamic extremists are holding hostages as Kenyan troops backed by Israeli agents on Sunday cornered the Somali militants who have killed at least 59 people. 

Journalists at the Westgate mall said the explosion Sunday afternoon was by far the largest in the 30-hour siege. There was silence after the big blast.

Sporadic gunfire rang out as Kenyan security officials said they were trying to kill or capture the remaining attackers and end the bloodbath at the upmarket Westgate mall, with the standoff now well into a second day.

"The criminals are now all located in one place within the building... we have as good a chance to successfully neutralise the terrorists as we can hope for," President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a speech to the nation.

Kenyatta, who called for patience, said he had received "numerous offers of assistance from friendly countries" but that for now it remained a Kenyan operation.

However, a Kenyan security source confirmed that Israelis "are rescuing the hostages and the injured". The Israeli foreign ministry refused to confirm or deny its forces were involved.

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