Kenya mall shooting victims mourned in Nairobi

Relatives carry a coffin during a funeral procession on September 25, 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya, for Selima Merali and her 15-year-old daughter, Nuriana Merali, who died during the attack at the Westgate mall. The country is observing three days of national mourning as security forces begin the task of clearing and securing the Westgate shopping mall following a four-day siege by militants.

Kenyan troops and rescue workers scoured the wreckage of a Nairobi shopping mall Wednesday for bodies and booby-trapped explosives after a four-day siege by Islamist gunmen left 67 dead and dozens more missing.

Rescuers wore face masks and some soldiers wrapped scarves around their mouths because of an overpowering stench inside the Westgate centre, once the capital's most upmarket mall. A large part of the complex has collapsed after heavy explosions and a fierce fire.

Across Kenya, flags flew at half mast at the start of three days of official mourning.

Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab rebels claimed on Twitter that 137 hostages they had seized all died, figures impossible to verify and higher than the number of people officially registered as missing. They also accused Kenyan troops of using "chemical agents" to end the stand-off.

President Uhuru Kenyatta announced an end to the 80-hour bloodbath late Tuesday, with the "immense" loss of 61 civilians and six members of the security forces. Police said the death toll was provisional, with the Kenyan Red Cross listing 63 people as still missing.

Top forensic experts and investigators from Israel, the US and Britain are supporting Kenyan teams, officials said, with many questions remaining over the identity of the attackers, the possible presence of a British woman and American jihadists, and how the cell got such large quantities of weapons and ammunition into the complex.

Agence France-Presse