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Kenya mall shooting victims mourned in Nairobi
Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

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

Kenya mall shooting nairobi westgate 09 25 13
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Eight-year-old Alyaz Merali, a Muslim boy wounded during an attack by gunmen at Westgate mall, takes part in the funeral procession on Sept. 25, 2013, in Nairobi, Kenya, for his mother Selima and sister Nuriana, who were both killed in the attack.

(Uriel Sinai - AFP/Getty Images)
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A woman is comforted by a relative on Sept. 25, 2013 after identifying the body of her son at the city mortuary in Nairobi. Kenyan troops and rescue workers scoured the wreckage of a Nairobi shopping mall on September 25 for bodies and booby-trapped explosives after a four-day siege by Islamist gunmen left 67 dead and dozens more missing.

(SIMON MAINA - AFP/Getty Images)
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People donate blood on September 25, 2013 for victims of a deadly four-day siege that left more than 60 people dead and close to 200 injured after fundamentalists said to include American nationals and a Brtitish woman occupied the upmarket Westgate mall. Kenya's President declared a three-day period of national mourning for victims of the country's deadliest heist of an upmarket shopping mall by muslim jihadists in retaliation of Kenya's armed forces' incursion into Somali almost two-years ago.

(TONY KARUMBA - AFP/Getty Images)
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A man reads a newspaper in Nairobi on September 25, 2013 after Kenyan forces took back control of Westgate mall following a deadly four-day siege that left more than 60 people dead and close to 200 injured.

(TONY KARUMBA - AFP/Getty Images)
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A Kenyan flag flies at half-mast over the capital Nairobi on September 25, 2013 after President Uhuru Kenyatta declared a three-day period of national mourning for victims of the country's deadliest attack on an upmarket shopping mall by jihadists in retaliation of Kenya's armed forces' incursion into Somalia.

(TONY KARUMBA - AFP/Getty Images)
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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.

(Uriel Sinai - AFP/Getty Images)
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A cemetery worker walks next to fresh graves on September 25, 2013 after the funeral for Selima Merali, 41, and daughter Nuriana Merali, 15, who were killed in the attack by gunmen at the Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya. 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.

(Uriel Sinai - AFP/Getty Images)
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Kenyans look over a wall on September 25, 2013 at the funeral for Selima Merali, 41, and her 15-year-old daughter, Nuriana, who were killed in the attack by gunmen at the Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

(Uriel Sinai - AFP/Getty Images)
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