, NAIROBI, Sep 30 – At least 39 people are still missing after last week’s brutal assault on Nairobi’s Westgate mall by Islamist gunmen, the Red Cross said Monday.
The four-day bloodbath at the upmarket shopping mall, which Kenyan forces brought to an end on Tuesday, left at least 67 people dead.
The 39 still missing was reduced from 61, after bodies were either identified, or those reported to have been missing were found to have not been at the mall.
Kenyan and foreign investigators continued to comb the carcass of the Westgate mall for clues on the perpetrators of the raid and ensuing siege.
Part of the rooftop parking of the mall collapsed after heavy explosions and a fierce fire, leaving the key area where the insurgents are understood to have made their final stand — along with possible hostages — buried under charred tonnes of concrete.
“Government agencies have been conducting forensic and criminal investigations, in addition, bomb experts continued with clearing the building to ensure safe access,” the statement read.
“Heavy mechanical equipment began to move the rubble of the collapsed building ahead of the search for bodies.”
The raid was claimed by the Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda linked Somali group which has vowed more attacks if Kenya does not pull its troops out of Somalia.
Lawmakers from the parliament’s defence and foreign relations committee visited the mall on Monday afternoon.
Their visit comes ahead of their quizzing of Kenyan security chiefs over the handling of the deadly raid, which was initially planned to happen Monday, but is now expected to take place on Tuesday.
Also on Monday, a British man was released without charge after he was arrested in Nairobi following the attack, British sources said.
Eight suspects are currently held in connection with the raid, one of the worst attacks in Kenya’s history.