|Kenya hostage crisis lingers, Israeli forces arrive in Nairobi||
Militants who attacked a shopping mall in the Kenyan capital Nairobi held hostages inside the mall on Sunday, where dozens have been killed in an attack by the al Shabaab group that opposes Kenya's participation in a peacekeeping mission in neighboring Somalia.
According to AP, the Kenyan military remained in a tense standoff with extremists Sunday, as the toll rose to 59 dead, including children, and 175 wounded in the attack at an upscale mall, a Kenyan minister said.
Israeli forces were working with Kenyan counterparts at scene, Kenyan sources told CNN. A Kenyan security official also said Israeli forces have entered the shopping mall in the capital Nairobi, according to Press TV.
Israel has enjoyed good relation with the Kenyan government over the past years while it has played major role in suppressing the Islamists in Somalia.
Foreigners, including two diplomats - one from Canada and another from Ghana - were killed in Saturday's attack at Westgate mall.
Shortly after the shots were fired, troops in camouflage ran crouching below a restaurant terrace along the front of the building that had been buzzing with customers when assailants charged in. One witness said they first told Muslims to leave.
Ten to 15 attackers remained in the mall and Kenyan forces controlled the security cameras inside the shopping center. Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga told reporters at the mall that he has been told that officials couldn't determine the exact number of hostages inside the mall. However, media reported that about 30 hostages were still inside the shopping center.
"There are quite a number of people still being held hostage on the third floor and the basement area where the terrorists are still in charge," Odinga said.
The assault was the biggest single attack in Kenya since al Qaeda's East Africa cell bombed the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi in 1998, killing more than 200 people. In 2002, the same militant cell attacked an Israeli-owned hotel on the coast and tried to shoot down an Israeli jet in a coordinated strike.
Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku told reporters the death toll had risen to 59, and that security forces were doing everything they could to rescue hostages still inside the mall.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said late Saturday that his government had sent a rapid deployment team to Kenya to help. Britons had undoubtedly been caught up in the "callous and cowardly and brutal" assault at the Westgate mall, said Hague.
The United Nations Security Council condemned the attacks and "expressed their solidarity with the people and Government of Kenya" in a statement.
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