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Explosions in 'Final Assault' on Kenya Mall

Kenyan troops are carrying out a major assault against al Shabaab terrorists inside Westgate mall.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 9/23/2013, 8:06 AM

Soldier carries girl to safety
Soldier carries girl to safety
Reuters

Kenyan troops, including commando teams and military helicopters, are carrying out a major assault against al Shabaab terrorists in Kenya in an attempt to end the horrific two-day stand-off inside a Nairobi shopping center.

According to Sky News, at least three loud explosions and heavy and rapid bursts of fire have been heard Monday morning coming from the Westgate shopping complex in Nairobi where 68 people, have been killed since the siege started on Saturday, and more than 170 injured.

The Kenyan Defence Force said on its Twitter feed this morning that it was making every effort to bring the siege "to a speedy conclusion". It said it has secured most of the Westgate shopping complex, and most of the hostages have been rescued.

Officials say netween 10 and 15 al Shabaab terrorists may still be inside the center.

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.

According to some reports, Israel security forces have joined their Kenyan counterparts in the fight to rescue hostages captured by Islamist terrorists at a Nairobi mall.

"The Israelis have just entered and they are rescuing the hostages and the injured," a security source said on condition he not be named.

An Israeli foreign ministry spokesperson would neither confirm nor deny the reports.

"We don't make a habit of commenting on security cooperation of any kind that there may or may not be," Paul Hirschson told AFP.