, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 25 – Foreign forensic experts have joined their Kenyan counterparts in the search for more bodies at the Westgate shopping complex, which was seized by terrorists on Saturday.
A tweet by the Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia on Wednesday morning indicated that experts from Israel, America and the United Kingdom (UK) had arrived at the site and would be allowed to participate in the search.
The exercise will include the sifting of rubble in search of bodies trapped after three floors collapsed during the massive security operation which included heavy gunfire and blasts.
“Leading forensic experts from other countries allowed to join search including Israel, USA (United States of America) and UK but Kenya leads,” tweeted Kimemia.
On Tuesday night, President Uhuru Kenyatta said that 61 civilians and six security forces had been killed in the attack.
Five of the terrorists were also killed during the security operation.
“Towards the tail end of the operation, three floors of the Westgate Mall collapsed and there are several bodies still trapped in the rubble including the terrorists’,” Kenyatta said.
“Starting tomorrow I have instructed the Interior Ministry to keep Kenyans informed of the progress of the forensic investigations.”
Three Britons have already been confirmed dead but British officials have been quoted in various media reports as saying that the number could go higher.
Two Canadians among them a diplomat, one Chinese woman, one Dutch national, two French nationals- a woman and her daughter, a Ghanaian, two Indians, a Peruvian doctor, one South African and a South Korean have also been confirmed dead.
A gang of about 10 to 15 terrorists raided the Mall at around midday Saturday and started shooting patrons at random.
Horrific tales of the incident indicate that the gang indiscriminately shot at women, children and men with cries for mercy being ignored.
They took over the Mall for about three days before Kenyan security agents finally announced that they had taken control of the Mall.
It is still not clear whether or not British terror suspect Samantha Lewthwaite was among the terrorists and what role she might have played in the attack.
Kenya Red Cross is helping relatives to trace their loved ones and as at Tuesday evening, the organisation had reported 64 people as those that are missing.
“Right now I can only tell you that we have recorded 64 people as those that are missing but I cannot disclose any other details,” said a Kenya Red Cross female official who declined to be named.