*(Via MSN) – NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenyan police say a “major” assault by security forces has begun to end the two-day hostage crisis at a Nairobi mall, in which 68 people have died.
Kenya’s Disaster Operation Center said late Sunday that “this will end tonight. Our forces will prevail.”
Word of the Kenyan assault comes shortly after a large blast echoed from the mall, around the start of the operation.
Before the assault two helicopters hovered over the mall, skimming the roof. Al-Shabab militants reacted angrily to the helicopters on Twitter and said the Kenyan military action was endangering hostages.
In a statement Sunday the Red Cross said nine more bodies were recovered in a joint rescue mission. Officials say more than 175 people were wounded in the attack.
Gunmen used grenades and assault rifles in Saturday’s attack at the Westgate mall in Nairobi. Somali militant group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack.
An estimated 10 to 15 militants remain in the shopping mall holding an unknown number of captives. The Kenyan military has entered the four-story mall and there have been sporadic gun battles. Some Kenyan military were seen carrying in at least two rocket propelled grenades. Earlier military helicopters hovered over the mall.
Associated Press journalists at the Westgate mall said the explosion Sunday afternoon was by far the largest in the 30-hour siege. There big blast was followed by silence.
There’s MORE of this story at MSN.