NAIROBI, Sept 22 Kenya's president said on
Sunday security forces confronting militants in a Nairobi
shopping mall had as good a chance "as we can hope for" of
neutralising the attackers, and that Kenya wanted to confirm a
claim of responsibility by Somali Islamists.
Uhuru Kenyatta, who said a nephew and his nephew's fiancée
were among the 59 confirmed killed, said the government had
reports of both male and female attackers, consistent with
accounts given by witnesses who said they saw women involved.
"The criminals are now located in one place within the
building. With the professionals on site, I assure Kenyans that
we have as good a chance to successfully neutralise the
terrorists as we can hope for," he told a news conference.
The Somali al Shabaab militant group had said it was behind
the attack, which began on Saturday, but Kenyatta said
investigations were under way to "conclusively establish" who
Al Shabaab had said it carried out the attack because of
Kenya's intervention in Somalia, where it is now working
alongside other African peacekeeping troops to push back Islamic
Asked if he would now consider pulling out troops, Kenyatta
said: "We went as a nation into Somalia to help stabilise the
country but, most importantly, to fight the war against terror."
"We shall not relent on the war on terror ... It (the
attack) has only increased our commitment to fight and win this
After similar appeals from opposition and other senior
politicians speaking at the presidential residence, Kenyatta
also urged foreign nations not issue travel warnings that would
damage Kenya's vital tourism industry.
He did not respond when asked whether hostages still inside
the mall had explosives strapped to them, saying he would not
comment on operations.