Kenyan police scoured the rubble of a Nairobi hotel complex for more victims Wednesday as the death toll from Al Shabaab attack jumped to 21 and mourners began to bury the dead.
Police chief Joseph Boinnet revised the death toll to 21 from 14, saying the victims included 16 Kenyans, one American, one Briton and three of African descent.
“Six other bodies were found at the scene and one police officer succumbed very suddenly to his injuries,” he told reporters.
Another 28 wounded people had been admitted to hospital, he said.
As police searched for further victims, bomb disposal experts were looking for any grenades left by the assailants.
“The public must not panic if it hears explosions from the area,” Boinnet said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta had earlier announced the end of a 20-hour operation at the DusitD2 complex which saw hundreds of people rescued and all five jihadists “eliminated”.
The bloody assault was claimed by Somali militant group Al-Shabaab, which said it was acting to avenge the decision by US President Donald Trump to declare Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, according to the SITE monitoring group.
Chilling CCTV footage broadcast on local media showed four black-clad, heavily armed men calmly entering the luxury complex on Tuesday afternoon. A suicide bomb blast signalled the start of the attack.
In downtown Nairobi, dozens of people lined up to give blood
As the first explosion and gunfire rang out in the leafy Westlands suburb on Tuesday, hundreds of terrified office workers barricaded themselves in the complex while others fled.
At least one suicide bomber blew himself up and others traded gunfire with security forces as the assault on DusitD2, a complex which includes a 101-room hotel, spa, restaurant and offices, unfolded.
“There were five terrorists and all of them are no more,” Boinnet told AFP earlier. “It is a clearing exercise now going on there.”
Al-Shabaab has targeted Kenya since it sent its army into Somalia in October 2011 to fight the jihadist group.
Among the dead was an American citizen, identified by his family as Jason Spindler, whose brother said on Facebook that he had been a survivor of the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.
In London, the Foreign Office confirmed the death of a British-South African dual national and said another British person was injured.
In downtown Nairobi, dozens of people lined up to give blood at a memorial for the US embassy destroyed in an Al-Qaeda attack in 1998 in which 213 people died.