Red Cross: 39 Still Missing After Mall Attack

(NAIROBI, Kenya) — More than three dozen people remain unaccounted for almost a week after the end of the four-day terrorist attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Mall that killed at least 67, the head of the Kenyan Red Cross said Monday. The Red Cross’ report of 39 missing people conflicts with the government’s contention that there are no remaining missing people from the attack that began Sept. 21, and suggests that the death toll could still rise as investigators dig through the rubble of the partially collapsed mall. “The numbers with us are what we are still showing as open cases that are reported to us,” Red Cross head Abbas Gullet told The Associated Press by telephone. “The only way to verify this is when the government declares the Westgate Mall 100 percent cleared — then we can resolve it,” he said. At least 61 civilians and 6 security troops were killed in the attack. Government reports on the number of terrorists killed, however, have been confusing and at times contradictory. President Uhuru Kenyatta said last week that five attackers had been killed by security forces’ gunfire and his office said one or more might be trapped under the building’s rubble. In an interview on Citizen TV late Sunday night, however, Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said that two attackers had been hit by gunfire and that the building was thought to have collapsed on three others. Later in the interview he said all five Islamic extremist members were thought to be under the rubble, and that no bodies of any terrorist suspects had been recovered. “We are sure they never got out of the building, so let the forensic examination establish the exact truth,” he said. When pressed about the government’s initial estimate that 10 to 15 terrorists could have been involved in the attack, Lenku conceded that the figure could have been wrong, or that some could have escaped. “We do not rule out the possibility that when we were evacuating people in the first stages of the operation………

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